Jaskiran Chopra

Doon Valley’s “Suicide Alley”-Now Just a Memory

BLANK VERSE People who are new to Dehradun will never know much about this valley’s ‘Suicide Alley’ as it disappeared in the year 2011. A well-known landmark, though sometimes controversial, vanished before our eyes. Within days! Yes, I am talking about the stretch of Chakrata Road from Clock Tower up to Prabhat cinema. Undoubtedly it was the most crowded spot in the city of Dehradun. For years,...

End of an Era: Good Bye, Aunty!

BLANK VERSE Earlier this month came in the shocking news of the passing away of one of the kindest and most loving people I have ever come across in life. She was a highly respected lady whom we had as a close neighbour in Dalanwala in Dehradun for many years. We were so close that we were like one...

Days of Snow are Here Again!

BLANK VERSE It is the peak of winter and we have had spells of snow in Uttarakhand, Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Just yesterday, we had another spell of snowfall in Mussoorie. Scenes of snowfall have been common on news channels and newspapers, and more snow has been predicted. Suddenly, it feels that the novelty of snowfall has worn off. Too...

The Little Things of Life

BLANK VERSE We often hear or read that happiness lies in small things of life, things we may not attach much importance to. I have understood that we should not keep waiting for big happenings to make us happy. Every day of our lives brings several things and moments which give us immense joy, only if we are ready...

The Unfading Charm of Cantonments

BLANK VERSE Saturday, 22 September 2018 | JASKIRAN CHOPRA | Dehradun— My fascination with cantonments goes back to my childhood in the Doon valley when my parents had many friends in the army and we would visit their homes many an evening and enjoy the peace and greenery that the cantonment abounds in. We all know that cantonments are a world...

AH, WILDERNESS! WHERE ART THOU?

BLANK VERSE Saturday, 18 August 2018 | JASKIRAN CHOPRA | Dehradun— Nowadays, when one always talks about how crowded and congested our cities are getting, who has the time to think about something called wilderness? However, I think on this often. My love for vast open spaces goes back to my early years. Having lived...

BLANK VERSE: THE JOYS AND TRAVAILS OF REPORTING FROM A SLEEPY TOWN

When one sees Dehradun becoming the focus of attention like it recently became when it was chosen as the venue of the International Yoga Day event on June 21, one cannot help but recall the days when this town was not very newsy. Actually, hardly anything used to happen here which needed to be reported on the national level....

BLANK VERSE: DEHRADUN WAS ALWAYS “SMART”

As efforts are underway to make Dehradun and even Mussoorie (I read that recently)“smart cities”, I wonder whether they were not always smart in the real sense of the word. I keep thinking whether people knew about the various ways in which our Dehra was ever so smart, without feeling the need to be called a “smart city”. Known...

A GREEN WORLD WITH AZURE SKIES THAT VANISHED

Recently I met a lady and her husband who had come from Israel to spend a couple of weeks at a retreat in the Doon valley. I knew about them as they were friends of my brother.T hey contacted me and we met a few times. They were just fascinated by the valley and expressed happiness that they could...

Blank Verse-A Real World of Enchantment

Saturday, 28 April 2018 | Jaskiran Chopra | Dehradun– We often hear stories of fairylands when we are children. Of places where everything is picture-perfect and all the people are happy.  For me, this fairyland existed not just in these stories but all around me. I was really fortunate to have spent my childhood in a place which closely resembled the...