Ajmer Rode has published books of poetry, drama, prose and translation in Punjabi and English. His works have been included in several English and Punjabi anthologies and books prescribed in universities in India. His first book, Vishava Di Nuhᾱr published by the Punjabi University in 1966 expounds Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in fictional and dialogue form. The book initiated a series of publications on popular science subjects.
Most of his poetry is included in his 1000-page book Leela (co-authored with Navtej Bharati) considered an outstanding work of the 20th century Punjabi poetry. In awarding Leela their 2011 poetry prize, the scholarly jury of Anᾱd Foundation commented:
“Leela remains unparalleled in the history of Punjabi literature for its courage to explore and experiment with poetic word, cultural memory and our day-to-day existential struggle…. Leela has been aptly described as a book of epic dimensions, one of the most important poetry book of the twentieth century and an all-time classic.”
Ajmer is one of the 8 international poets whose English poems have been inscribed in bronze on a public wall outside the office of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation complex in downtown Seattle.
In October 2010 he was invited to take part in the Commonwealth Writers Meet in Delhi where writers from 40 countries participated. In 2008 Canada Council sponsored him to participate in another international poetry festival, Kriti, held in Chandigarh in 2008. The Sahitya Akademy, Delhi, invited him to read his poems in Hindi translation in April 2012.
He is considered founder of Canadian Punjabi drama and has written and directed 10 plays. His full length play Komagata Maru, recently digitized and published on-line by Canada’s Simon Fraser University, was the first full length Punjabi play staged in Canada. His English play, Rebirth of Gandhi, was premiered in Surrey Arts Center in 2004. His translations include the English translation of classic Punjabi novel, Marhi Da Diva, published as The Last Flicker by India’s Sahitya Akademy, Delhi.
Ajmer has been active member of the Punjabi Writers Forum, Vancouver. He was on the National Council of The Writers Union of Canada in 1994 and chaired its Racial Minority Writers Committee. He was also on the Canada Council and BC Arts Council juries to award grants to creative writers.
He himself won a Canada Council grant to complete the poetry book he is currently working on. His other awards include Best Overseas Author award by the Punjab Languages department (1994), Lifetime Achievement Award by the University of British Columbia in 2013, Best Citizen Award (literature) by Guru Nanak Dev University (1994), the prestigious Anᾱd Foundation (Delhi) award in 2010, Vancouver’s Mehfal Magazine award for Literary achievement, 2010 and Darpan Magazine’s Artistic Visionary award, 2013
Before becoming a full time writer in 1994, Ajmer worked as Assistant Professor (G.N.E. college (Punjab University), Computer Engineer (BC Hydro), and Planning Engineer and Global Warming Resource Person at BC Gas (Vancouver).