DSOI’s initiative to encourage literary activity among its members , Dehradun Uttarakhand
Defence Services Officers’ Institute, Dehradun, has taken to create more interest in reading
Monday, 01 October 2018 | PNS | Dehradun–
It is a welcome step which the Defence Services Officers’ Institute (DSOI), Dehradun, has taken to create more interest in reading among its members who are all retired personnel of army, air force, and navy. The library at this picturesque institute in Dehradun cantonment has now been done up beautifully and also upgraded. It has a lovely ambience, just what is required for some peaceful and enjoyable reading.
On Saturday evening, the new look of the library was witnessed by several people who had come in to attend a literary (Book Reading) session that featured three authors of the Doon valley namely Madhu Gurung, Jaskiran Chopra and Colonel (Retd) SP Singh. The three authors spoke about their writing and also read out passages from their books. The evening was conducted by Poonam Bakshi who first introduced the audience to the authors in great detail, talking about their writing journey.
Colonel Sunny Bakshi, secretary of the DSOI, said that it was now being planned to make several efforts to encourage the reading habit among members and their families. He said it would be truly wonderful if the rich resources of knowledge provided by the library could be utilized by people belonging to the defense forces. He said that more such sessions were on the cards.
Madhu Gurung spoke about her novel The Keeper of Memories and also read out excerpts from it. The book is based on the history of the Gorkhas in India and uses the battle of Khalanga(Nalapani). The Keeper of Memories is essentially a story of survival, of retracing the path to one’s roots. The novel carries a dark undercurrent that eventually envelops the Gurung family home, nestled in the idyllic green hills of Uttarakhand. In the winter of her life, Dharamshila, the keeper of memories of her family of brave Gorkha warriors, tells her grandchildren the story of their ancestors who came from Nepal as conquerors and fought the British in the Khalanga War in Dehradun.
She said that she had begun writing a bit late in life but now was a passionate and disciplined writer who wrote almost every day. She shared how she had researched deeply for this book which was published in 2016.
Jaskiran Chopra spoke at length about her work Memories of Another Day in which she has gathered all her memories of the Doon valley and Mussoorie in order to preserve the vanishing glory and beauty of both cities. She said the book was her tribute to the valley where she had grown up and was very close to her heart. “This book of mine is a mirror of my soul and also the essence of all my writing,” she said while answering some questions posed by Poonam Bakshi. She shared with the audience a chapter of the book that narrated all the aspects of the valley that had always given it a unique place –its canals, its forests, its orchards, its rice, litchis and tongas, and its salubrious climate. She referred to the famous “four o’clock rain” that Dehradun always experiences after two warm days. The clouds would gather at around four pm on the second warm day and it would pour! She also spoke about warmth and leisurely pace of life that was once so characteristic of this place. Some members of the audience said they could relate to all the things she read out. She mentioned that she had started her schooling at the Cambrian Hall which is next door to the DSOI.
Colonel (Retd) SP Singh told the audience that his book Parrot Under the Pine Tree had been inspired by a vacation he had taken in Kausani in Uttarakhand. “Kausani is just an amazingly beautiful place and if someone is spiritually inclined, he or she can spend a lot of time there happily,”, he said. He spoke of the various experiences during the army life that triggered his writing and made him first write many shorts stories before he penned this novel. A vast array of human emotions is portrayed by him in this book.
The three authors were felicitated at the end of the session.
The literary evening at this armed forces’ institute was indeed enriching and has laid the way to many more such interactions between writers and book lovers. There are many people fond of reading and writing among defense services families and the DSOI can be the ideal platform for them to revive literary activity and bring about a vibrancy to the campus by visiting the rejuvenated library more often and participating in sessions that can include genres like the short story, the novel, poetry, and essay. Language need not be any barrier too. Along with English, Hindi and Urdu can be included in these sessions too. The vice president (policy), Colonel Tushar Kathuria was also present on the occasion.
One welcomes the DSOI for having joined in with the many literary events that are now being held frequently in the Doon valley. Read more post…
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