Connecting Across Border (CAB), India is an initiative of three diverse personalities Padmaja Iyengar-Paddy (President), Dr. Sridevi Selvaraj (Vice President) and Ms. Hema Ravi (Secretary), bound by a common passion – poetry. 

CAB regularly organises thematic international poetry conferences and panel discussions by inviting eminent personalities from across the globe and India.

Recently, CAB organised an International Poetry Conclave via Google Meet on 14 May 2023 on the theme ‘Families Today’, aligning with the International Mothers’ Day on 
14 May 2023 and the International Family Day on 15 May 2023.

Padma Shri Dr. Sitanshu Yashaschandra, acclaimed poet, critic, littérateur and academic, former Vice Chancellor of Saurashtra University and Visiting Professor at Sorborne University, Paris, France, and University of Pennsylvania, USA, and recipient of several prestigious awards that include Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award, Kabir Samman, Gangadhar Maher Samman, and Kavi Kusumagraj National Award, to name a few, graced the Conclave as the Chief Guest. 

32 eminent poets from Albania, Canada, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Poland, Sri Lanka and India participated in the Conclave.

Welcoming the poetry luminaries who had assembled at the Conclave, Padmaja Iyengar-Paddy reiterated that it is our family that supports us through thick and thin, in times of confusion; and when we are down and out, they lift us up. She further added that the thematic poetry reading on ‘Families Today’ was bound “to discuss issues and solutions to the problems of our highly polarised world, where the concept of family seems to be slowly disappearing.”

Applauding the initiative, the Chief Guest, Dr. Sitanshu Yashaschandra remarked that such a platform creates a “space” for writers to delve into the roots of their own traditions, “The tree also throws up its branches into the sky to give shade to all…. We create an alternate world – a vikalpa vriksha or an alternate way to live and to interact.”, he further added.

All the distinguished poets presented their sensitively penned poems on the theme “Families Today” with great vigour, infusing their insightful sensitivity and a sense of bonhomie. 

Recapitulating the poems presented at the meet, Dr. Sridevi Selvaraj observed that the poems strongly represented two or three metaphors – the power of ‘touch’, the familial ‘nest’ and ‘light.’ “Domestic space is the place where individuals gain confidence to develop spiritual strength, no individual can be ignored. Every member of the institution is to be taken care of! Family guides us step by step, brick by brick. Even in cyberspace, we are closer, and Love doesn’t fear distances. The family system will continue to remain strong. In the history of patriarchy, motherhood is celebrated; in today’s transition period, the importance of family is recognised, even while people are adapting to living across the globe,” she said.

Ms. Padmaja Iyengar-Paddy and Ms. Hema Ravi ably anchored the Conclave, inviting each poet to read their poem by introducing them through a reading of their brief bio. Ms. Vishnupriya provided excellent technical support through a digital presentation of the past CAB events, participating poets’ bios, poetry readings, etc.

The live recording of the Conclave can be viewed on:

CAB functionaries can be reached at:

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