Saying goodbyes is not always easy. And when one is saying goodbye to an event that is as engaging and alive as Valley of Words, it turns into a poignant moment. The three-day festival concluded for the year last evening and we could see writers, artists, scholars, poets, and academics taking leave of each other, exchanging phone numbers and email addresses, taking selfies and promising to be in touch till they meet again under this lovely literary umbrella called Valley of Words in the Doon valley next year in the month of November. The dates for the festival for next year have been fixed from November 14 to 16.
Festival’s curator Sanjeev Chopra said on the occasion that VOW was a place and occasion for the “meeting of minds and souls” and like all good things, it must come to an end and evoke hope and promise for all the people who are part of it to meet again at the same place, in the same month next year. He said that each edition brought achievements and lessons to constantly upgrade the event which began in the year 2017. The vast variety of sessions held as part of this international festival of literature and arts is what makes it iconic.
This year, Sanskrit received a lot of focus on the fest. This was indeed apt as the fest is held in the Devbhumi, home of this ancient language. Many a session was relevant to schoolchildren and college students. “Literature in Schools” was an interesting session held yesterday in which the panelists were Jyotsna Brar, Doon School headmaster Matthew Raggett, Syeda Imam and Bijoya Swain. It discussed how the teaching of literature in schools had changed down the years. Another session was titled “The English Medium Myth” in which it was emphasized that success cannot be related to knowledge of English. Sankrant Sanu from IIT Kanpur, who has written the book “The English Medium Myth”, said while speaking at the session that our minds need to be decolonised. “We have accepted the inevitability of English and we do not look for options.”
At an Urdu session titled “Ek Gugtagu: Mera Sheher”, Jaskiran Chopra’s new book of poetry titled Mera Sheher (published by Bookworld, Dehradun) was launched. The session has on stage renowned Urdu poet, a living legend- Gulzar Dehlvi (also known as Pandit Anand Mohan Zutshi) and renowned industrialist, social worker and Urdu scholar S Farooq. Jaskiran Chopra read out from the book and recited the title poem “Mera Sheher”. A discussion followed on the love one has for one’s city or home town.
The 94-year-old poet Gulzar Dehlvi spoke at length about his life in Delhi since his childhood and the historic events he has been witness to. Farooq spoke about Dehradun. A large number of college students attended the session.
Geeta Gopalakrishnan’s book “My Grandmother’s Tweets” was discussed at a session moderated by Ratna Manucha with Rahul Singh in the chair. Mona Verma’s novel Benaras was also discussed at the festival. The session on Pammy Kohli’s A Map of Flames had Jayshree Tripathi in the chair. Doon writers Lokesh Ohri, Jaskiran Chopra, ADG Ashok Kumar, Leeladhar Jagudi, Pradeep Singh, Mona Verma, Buddhinath Mishra, Ambar Kharbanda, Ratna Manucha, Ananya Dhawan and others were prominent participants in VOW 2018. Students of Graphic Era University played an important role as participants and audience under the leadership of their teachers Shivani Pant and Navneet Gairola.
Randhir Arora of Bookworld exhibited books of all participating authors at his aesthetically put up stall at the fest. All in all, this celebration of wisdom, intellect, aesthetics, linguistics, poetry, music and scholarship is something that the Doon valley had waited for all along.
The spirit of the event is such that writers from all over the country and abroad strike friendships that they nurture and take forward from here. The large scale communication that takes place during the three days is a dialogue that carries on well beyond the festival.
That is why when we say goodbye to VOW it is only till next November! With the people involved in it remaining in touch every day. read more posts…
Tuesday, 27 November 2018 | PNS | Dehradun—
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