An Indian ode to the emirates
with forty poems and photographs geeta Chhabra

Book launch Event SPEECHES

Ambassador of India to the UAE – His Excellency
Mr. M.K. Lokesh’s Speech at the launch of:

An Indian Ode To The Emirates by Geeta Chhabra.
Venue: Raffles Hotel, Dubai
Date: 27th March 2012


Geeta Chhabra ji, Mr. Ved Chhabra, Dignitaries on the table and dear friends,

It is really a great honour for me to be here. When I met Geeta ji initially, she appeared to be a lady full of enthusiasm, and it took me some time to realize that she has lot of talents also, to back up this enthusiasm. She appears to have lot of passion. Obviously, a poet needs to have a lot of passion, only then the thoughts come out. We all have a little poet in us, but it requires passion and talent to bring it all out. It’s not easy to do that but as a lady, Geeta ji has done a wonderful job of bringing out this publication – Her Ode to UAE. And, I am here to pay my ode to her for this unique contribution to India–UAE relations. It is something unique to praise and celebrate our relations through poems and medium of poetry. We in India have lots of poetry in various forms including – Bollywood, ghazals. India is a land of poetry, land of feelings, land of passion and it is the first time that I have come across in my career that a person is paying tribute to her relationship to the country which she has adopted: through poetry. It’s a very unique event and it’s going to be a very unforgettable event. Normally, I try to speak extempore but on poetry I don’t want to take a chance as I am not a poet today! I have already given my message in the book and it’s a wonderful book, very beautifully brought out. I know that many of you, as soon as you buy the book, will go straight to Geeta ji’s poetry… you may not read my message. So I take this opportunity to pay my own tribute through my message to Geetaji and to her creative work.

Publishing Manager of Motivate Publishing
John Deykin’s Speech at the launch of:

An Indian Ode To The Emirates
by Geeta Chhabra.

Venue: Raffles Hotel, Dubai
Date: 27th March 2012


Thank you very much Your Excellency. You have described a little bit of Geeta Chhabra’s passion and pride: something which my team of Simona Cassano, (senior editor), Poonam Gaglani (the editor of this book) also noticed.

Now, a taped message from another collaborator who is today one of the finest translators of English into Arabic who indeed was responsible for the translations in An Indian Ode To The Emirates. Here is a message from Dr. Shihab Ghanem.

Emirati Poet / Translator
Dr. Shihab Ghanem’s recorded speech on Video Tape at the launch of:
An Indian Ode To The Emirates by Geeta Chhabra
Venue: Raffles Hotel, Dubai
Date: 27th March 2012


Good evening Ladies & Gentlemen,

This is Dr. Shihab Ghanem and I am Arab poet and I am the person who has translated the new collection by Geeta Chhabra which is 40 Indian Odes To The Emirates. The book contains 40 poems written, inspired by the scenes of the UAE such as Sheikh Saeed’s House, Burj Khalifa, Sheikh Zayed Road, The Mosque, the desert and various other scenes from the different Emirates of the UAE. They show the warm relationships between India and UAE seen through the eyes of a poet. I regret I am not able to be with you today as I have to be in Qatar where I am participating in the launch of the book – a gathering tied in with Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. I wish you all success and in particular to Geeta and Ved Chhabra. Thank you.

Managing Partner & Group Editor of Motivate Publishing
Ian Fairservice’s Speech at the launch of:

An Indian Ode To The Emirates by Geeta Chhabra.
Venue: Raffles Hotel, Dubai
Date: 27th March 2012


Your Excellency, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

on behalf of Motivate Publishing and all our team it has been great pleasure to welcome you here this evening to share in this special celebration – the long awaited launch of An Indian Ode To The Emirates by Geeta Chhabra, with 40 poems and photographs. As we at Motivate Publishing book division have stepped into our 25th year of book publishing, we are proud to add this inspiring title to our long list. I just like to say that the decision to include 40 poems as supposed to, I think 35 or 36 that Geeta had in mind, originally, turned out very well. It has been taken in respect to UAE, in dedication to the UAE on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the federation. We told her about this idea and that is a very nice touch to the book. Geeta Chhabra, the dynamic author that we are hearing so much about this evening is no stranger to any of us here. Her poetry from An Indian Ode To The Emirates is mostly inspired by her experiences as an Indian expatriate in Dubai – written and collected over the past years. In seeing that her ideas fit in so well with our reprint world of cultural history – her literary work would be the revival of a poetic journal. It was simply a book that I felt we had to publish. Today, just a few short months later, we have her inspiring thoughts finally in print and we present her book proudly to all of you this evening. Each poem as we already heard is translated into the Arabic by the acclaimed Dr. Shihab Ghanem and also accompanied by stunning photography that lightens the impact of Geeta’s poems. Photography, that is of course by Vibha Bakshi’s support – a lovely photographic collection. Vibha is Geeta’s daughter. Congratulations to Vibha.

As His Excellency mentioned earlier, the first poem in the book titled: To Dubai – My Second Home sums up the central idea that runs throughout all of Geeta’s work. To Geeta, as it is to many of us here, Dubai is a home – a home is a dynamic term and while reading her poems, one can understand that the idea of home is never really stagnant. Geeta’s home is here and this is something all of us can easily identify with: as expatriates. So many of who live in Dubai have a special relationship with this land and it is delightful to have a body of literature that reflects its personal connection. Besides expressing the sentiments of expatriates at large, Geeta’s poetry also acts as a cultural bridge between India and the UAE. Having captured this deep rooted relationship through striking imagery and powerful use of language, Geeta is a strong exponent of the links between these two nations. This makes the book a fantastic edition to our collection of culture and heritage books – the principle areas of publication through Motivate. We at Motivate Publishing are proud to approve this book out into the world with Geeta. We congratulate her and it will be a great pleasure now to introduce her to you.

Chairman & Managing Director - Inter Ocean Group of Companies
Mr.Ved Chhabra’s Speech at the launch of:

An Indian Ode To The Emirates
by Geeta Chhabra.

Venue: Raffles Hotel, Dubai
Date: 27th March 2012


Your Excellency, Mr. M. K. Lokesh – Thank you for being with us.

Ladies & Gentlemen, such a distinguished gathering and I am most grateful to everyone that I am getting an applaud for having done nothing! It always happens when somebody comes and congratulates me I feel humbled that what have I done than being by chance the husband of Geeta Chhabra, but with the same breath I must admit that I am proud of the fact where Geeta has reached today. I remember the days when my friends used to think of her only as a singer and we used to participate in various gatherings where she would be singing to her glory, beautifully encouraged by me. I didn’t quite realize that she will be today known as a poet and an author. I did not quite realize that she also has another angle to her personality which promotes education for the under privileged children of – EKAL.

Thank you, Your Excellency. Sir, thank you for the support you have given to Geeta. And now, on a lighter note I want to share with everyone, some experience which I have had at home being the husband of my wife who has brought this poetry book. Very often when I am reading newspaper in the morning and relishing a cup of tea, I am generally confronted with a poem which Geeta has written very painstakingly through the greater part of the night and I am asked to read and comment on it. I sometimes wonder what gave me authority to make a comment when I can’t understand anything! But be that as it may, I get out of this tough situation through a smile – which she takes it as a full approval. Before I conclude, let me thank all my shipping friends, the illuminaries who are here. Thank you Your Excellency. Thank you Motivate. Thank you Dr. Shihab Ghanem. I salute all of you who have come and spared the time to be with us.

Geeta Chhabra’s Speech at the launch of: :
An Indian Ode To The Emirates
by Geeta Chhabra.

Venue: Raffles Hotel, Dubai
Date: 27th March 2012


Good evening Your Excellency, Mr. M. K. Lokesh, Mr. Ian Fairservice, Mr. John Deykin, my husband Ved, lovely friends and my lovely family.

Thank you all for being here. I am overwhelmed by the tremendous response. I had a speech written out but it has gone into the air! I will not take more than only a couple of minutes, and during this time it is my privilege to be reciting three of my poems. I must say that I am most grateful to each and everyone who has stood by me during the making of this book. I thank Dr. Shihab Ghanem for the translation of my poems.

To Dubai – My Second Home
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