Jaya Manju Mirchandani
Maitreya Padukone
Dinesh Mirchandani
Sindhi Kalaams by Jaya Manju Mirchandani - August 21, 2009

  Jaya Manju Mirchandani
J M MirchandaniManju was born in Sindh. After the partition of India in 1947, she moved to Gujarat with her parents. After completing her Bachelors degree, she started her career as a teacher at Kamla High School, a Sindhi school in Khar, Bombay where she taught English. She then completed a Masters degree in English Literature. In Bombay, after her marriage, now known as Jaya Manju, she became involved in Sindhi Chownkis where Sindhi Kalaam is sung.

From here on she developed a keen interest in the Sindhi language. At Kamla School, she noticed a diminishing number of students enrolling in Sindhi language classes in favor of Hindi, English, local and other foreign languages. Speaking Sindhi was not the problem, it was reading the script which was written in the Persio-Arabic alphabet. She supported the introduction of Sindhi written in Hindi script called Devnagri, which was easy for the students to learn. Jaya Manju then started writing Sindhi Kalaam in Devnagri for the benefit of Sindhi youth.

After moving to California almost 30 years ago, Jaya Manju took finance courses and started her career in banking. With her people-oriented skills, hard work and natural abilities she entered into the real estate profession and soon opened her own company. Her affinity for the Sindhi language and Sindhi Kalaam continued. To keep Sindhi alive at home and in the social circle, over 28 years ago, she and her husband started monthly Sindhi Chownkis in Fremont, California. Jaya Manju also staged Sindhi skits, which were performed during annual Sindhi Diwali functions. She wrote and directed a play of a classic Sindhi folklore named "Leela Chanesar".

Inspired by the interest of her daughter Alka in learning Sindhi Kalaam sung during Chownkis, she started transliterating Kalaams into English. The barrier in reading and understanding the rich Sindhi Kalaam is faced not only by the modern youth but also by many adults who had not learned the Sindhi language. With the condensed meaning of the Kalaams provided by her husband Kamal Mirchandani, Jaya Manju has produced a valuable compilation of select Sindhi spiritual poems and songs which will serve to keep the Sindhi literature and heritage alive in future generations through the treasure of: Roohani Choond Sindhi Kalaam

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