'The Power of White on White is Amazing'
| Onkareshwar Pandey - Editor in Chief - CEO, IOP - 06 Nov 2021

Book Review: “The White Pencil’ by Lavlin Thadani

'The Power of White on White is Amazing'

By Onkareshwar Pandey

Lavlin Thadani’s new collection of poems “The White Pencil’ is in the news. As she describes - 'The Power of White on White is Amazing'. It is the latest topic of literary discussions in the Lutyen Zone’s coffee houses. I know Lavlin since last many years, and thus thought to write on her book. But I saw a beautiull review of the Book in the Hindustan Times. This beutifullay crafted review written by Henna Rakheja, Principal Correspondent of Hindustan Times, Delhi has brought her book in more limelights.

“When thoughts pour out of writer Lavlin Thadani's pencil, they imbibe the sentiments and acquire the form of verses on paper. That's why the compilation of poems in her recent book, titled The White Pencil, impacts a readers' soul like a warm soup on an autumn evening,” writes Henna Rakheja.

But before we discuss the book, let me first tell those about Dr. Lavlin Thadani, who might not know her. Dr. Lavlin is the Chairperson of Muskan Productions, a Media Production House established by her in the year 1992 based in New Delhi. She started her career as a teenager, both as a broadcaster and a journalist. Over the last 25 years, she has made over a hundred films/serials for many prestigious organisations, such as Doordarshan, Ministry of HRD, Dept. of Women and Child Development, National AIDS Control Organization, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Rural Development, Directorate of Audio-Visual Publicity, The British Council and Transport Corporation of India amongst others. Her wide array of work includes films on varied topics, ranging from social issues to films on health and education and corporate films. In 2008, as a befitting tribute to Indian women on the International Women’s Day, a four-day-long grand film festival ‘Saluting Women’ from the 5th to the 8th of March was organized and hosted by the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

Lavlin pioneered the breakfast show on Doordarshan and anchored innumerable shows and interviewed dignitaries like Lata Mangeshkar, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr. A Kosygin, I.K. Gujral and other famous personalities for Doordarshan and Moscow Television. She has worked as a National Media Consultant with the WHO and as a freelance creative photographer with numerous solo exhibitions to her credit sponsored by Mr. Ibrahim Alkazi’s Art Heritage at Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi and Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.She recently received the ‘Great Asian Woman Achievers Award’ bestowed upon her by the Bharatiya Cultural and Social Development Association promoting the ‘BetiBachao, BetiPadhaoAbhiyaan’.

However, after receiving so many awards and accolades, Lavlin in her Poetry Collection - The White Pencil has introduced herself as A Female Joker, who describes the tale of how a teenager wore her first heels at 16. “This poet captures even the slightest of life's details in her lyrical writing. So much so even the preface takes shape of a poem titled An Ode to My Friends!” Henna has rightly described.

An author of eight books, Lavlin holds a PhD in Russian Literature from the prestigious Moscow State University. Having pursued acting at the reputed FTII and direction from the noted AAFT, Lavlin is an actor, poet and film¬maker of repute. She has books of poetry in both Hindi and English to her credit that have won much acclaim, as also fables and stories. Lavlin has produced and directed over a hundred films - features, documentaries, docudramas on a wide variety of topics with focus on women’s and children’s issues, health awareness, foreign policy and history. Her films have been screened at the United Nations, Magsaysay Awardees’ Conference, the Cannes Film Festival and other eminent festivals across the globe, bagging much acclaim and prestigious awards. She scripts and writes lyrics for her own films.

A woman of versatile personality, Lavlin has also acted in lead roles under Mr. M.S. Sathyu and Mr. Lekh Tandon, besides other eminent directors and continues to perform the much riveted role of Amrita Pritam on stage. Lavlin was a member of the Central Board of Film Certification and National Media Consultant with the WHO.

As a socially conscious citizen, Lavlin actively participates in the meaningful work being done by the NGOs, such as Mamta and Prakashdeep amongst others. She has worked as an interpreter from Russian to English and vice versa for former Indian Prime Ministers and Russian dignitaries. Lavlin, an ardent student of literature, has also taught at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), headed the Russian Service at the External Services Division of All India Radio with a huge fan following. She, a popular face on television, had pioneered the breakfast show for Doordarshan, as also presented programs for Moscow Television.

She was the Editor of the Children’s Page of the Hindustan Times and has contributed as a journalist and creative photographer to several noted newspapers and magazines. ‘But poetry remains my first love,’ she says. She has books of poetry in both Hindi and English to her credit that have won much acclaim, as also fables and stories.

In The White Pencil, Lavlin Thadani brings to the fore many a life's moments of humans in general and her life in particular with the help of simplistic language and a metre that isn't complicated or jarring, to push the reader away. Seamlessly flowing from one emotion or experience in life to another, the poetry builds a complete narrative of life and living. which can be contextualised in any day and age.

Being a Film-maker of repute with over a hundred Films and several International Awards to her credit, Lavlin’s latest Book of poetry The White Pencil also shows how a film maker-writer can write poems in the language of prose. There is a section of 'poetry in prose' that again describes the wanderings of the writer's mind in sentences that also display the poet's choice to find melody in structure.

“Lavlin is a woman of rare sensitivity… my soulmate.” That’s how Amrita Pritam described Lavlin. Further, she stated – “Lavlin’s writings are not only sensitive but also intense and sometimes remind me of legendary poet Sara Shagufta. Lavlin is a poet of international calibre.”

Lavlin remembers her candid conversations with Amrita Pritam and some popular personalities such as British actor Peter O'Toole in her Book. It is important to mention here that Lavlin has also acted in films alongside the likes of Jackie Chan and Peter O’Toole.

Also in The White Pencil, there's a section on the writer's interviews covered in journalistic style.

“Posing some pertinent questions and embracing some dark truths as well, the prose here is enmeshed with the poetry and tastes much like the mushy vegetables at the end of the soup in the bowl. It often reminds one of the soup that was. But isn't that's what life is, usually spent thinking about the past in the present?,” asks Henna in her beutifully crafted review.

Dr Thadani says, “Feelings belong to all. I write about that ‘all’ for I feel compelled to do so. Moments govern our lives, they build and destroy. The process is immensely complicated in all its simplicity. Shades of feelings vary; sometimes they are so delicate that I am apprehensive of touching them or staining them with sheer interference. At other times, they are so overpowering, I find myself crumbling under their power.”

She continues, “And of course, remaining alive to moments mundane and repetitive is difficult for they are almost physical, unlike the abstract ones that can only be perceived. The world around us forms an aura of our existence, of our being. Feelings infuse life into my words and the experiences come alive. That alone is the motive behind my writings. That alone is my search for the soul flower in me.”

In the words of former Prime Minister IK Gujral, “Lavlin is a scholar of high calibre.” Indeed, her poetry reflects her depth of understanding of human nature, the language being simple and the ideas being effectively communicated to the readers.

Title: The White Pencil

Author: Lavlin Thadani Publisher: Shubhi Publications

Price: ₹2599


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(Onkareshwar Pandey is Founder, Editor in Chief & CEO, Indian Observer Post and former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor, (News), ANI. http://bit.ly/2mh7hih Email - SMS- 9910150119)





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