By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 3 Apr: The 4th edition of the three-day-long Dehradun Literature Festival concluded at Hyatt Regency & Doon International School, Riverside Campus, here, today. Chief Minister Uttarakhand Pushkar Singh Dhami was also present on the final day of the fest.
The final day concluded at Hyatt Regency with a session on ‘Uttarakhand Growth Decade’ wherein Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami, renowned Poet & Writer Prasoon Joshi, and Film Director Ali Abbas Zafar were in conversation with Editor, Garhwal Post, Satish Sharma.
Addressing the audience, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, said, “I consider myself lucky to work under PM Modi as he considers Uttarakhand very close to his heart. I consider myself a worker and not a leader. For the state, we have plans to come up with another AIIMS in Udham Singh Nagar. We have also started with the work for the elevated road that will reduce the travel time from Delhi to Dehradun to 2-2.5 hours. It’s our vision that when Uttarakhand would attain the age of 25 years, the state will surely have all the top-of-the-line facilities.”
Speaking on the occasion, the Founder of DLF Samraant Virmani, said, “I feel extremely elated with the overwhelming response that the 4th edition of the Dehradun Literature Festival has received. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Chief Ministeri Pushkar Singh Dhami who supported our beloved festival. I would also like to thank all our authors, dignitaries, and the people who took out the time to celebrate their love for Literature and Art through our festival. This was indeed a true celebration of literature and art and I thank everyone who supported our festival.”
During the session, Prasoon Joshi said, “There’s a happiness that’s prevailing seeing young leaders like CM Pushkar Singh Dhami leading the state.”
Ali Abbas Zafar said, “Dehradun might be a small town, but in a way, it’s the heart of India as it has some of the most prominent institutions such as the Indian Military Academy and the Forest Research Institute.”
The highlight during the day was a web broadcast session titled ‘Master Storytellers in Conversation’ between renowned author Ruskin Bond and Film Director Imtiaz Ali. The session was moderated by Nayanika Mahatani. During the session, Ruskin Bond and Imtiaz Ali shared memories from their childhoods in their respective hometowns.
Talking about writer’s block, Ruskin Bond said, “One can avoid writer’s block by having a thorough visualisation of his/her story in mind, followed by arduous research using pen and paper. Strong visualization is the key for any writer.”
The concluding day of the Dehradun Literature Festival commenced with a session on ‘India’s Wars: 1962 and 1965’, wherein Shiv Kunal Verma and Anirudh Chakravarty were in conversation. The session was moderated by Monisha Dutta.
During the session, Shiv Kunal shared his research for three decades, undertaking the arduous task of visiting East Sikkim, parts of Kumaon and Garhwal, Lahaul and Spiti, and the remote corners of Ladakh, interviewing many who lived through the war.
Simultaneously, a session on ‘It Will All Make Sense Eventually’ also took place wherein Sanjay Desai, Richa Dwivedi, Vishwas Parchure, and Dr Kshtiza Singh were in conversation.
A session on ‘Creative Complex Characters’ by popular authors Preeti Shenoy and Kiran Manral was also held. The session was moderated by Shubhi Mehta. Talking about complex characters, Preeti said, “All of us are complex and none of us are simple. And this is what I try to capture in my books. In every book that I write, it’s not a deliberate effort to write a complex character. I need to experience everything that the character is experiencing. Also, sometimes characters don’t listen to us. Research is a key thing to writing complex characters. I have gone on to write various characters by researching and speaking to a lot of people, understanding their problems, and incorporating those in a very relatable way.”
Adding further, Kiran said, “All of us are complex in our ways. I think imagination helps me in writing complex characters. It is only when a character comes fully into my head, then only I can sit and write the character.”
Later during the day, a session on ‘Murder in the Bylanes’ was conducted by Aloke Lal, IPS (Retd), and Maanas Lal.” Another highlight of the day was a session titled ‘The 7 Sins of Being a Mother’ by Writer & Filmmaker Tahira Kashyap Khurrana. She was in conversation with Richa Anirudh.
Sharing her insight about body-shaming, Tahira said, “At times when you’re at your lower life state, you succumb to negativities such as body shaming. One way to achieve a higher state of life is through affirmations and I achieved it when I stumbled upon Nichiren Buddhism during my dark times. This practice helped me get out of my difficult days and achieve a solid sense of foundation. According to me, one needs to work towards achieving a higher life state to be confident and feel beautiful not only from the outside but inside as well.”
Another interesting session on ‘Powerhouse of Feminity’ was organised between Pooja Marwah, Bijoy Sawain, Venu Agrahari Dhingra, Ruhani Singh, and Rajat Shakti. The session was moderated by Arushi Jain.
A session on ‘India under New Leadership’ was conducted wherein Shazia Ilmi Malik was in conversation with Niraj Soni.
Later, during the day another session was held by panelists Chandan Sinha and Hriyadesh Joshi on ‘Kabir Ke Saakhi’. This was followed by a session on ‘Behind the Badge: Enforcement & Encounters’ by DGP Uttarakhand Police Ashok Kumar IPS, Amit Lodha IPS, and Amit Dubey. The session was moderated by Ruby Gupta. During the session, the cover launch of Cyber Encounters by Ashok Kumar IPS & OP Manocho also took place.
Another session during the festival by Cancer Survivor Shormishtha Mukherjee and Stand-Up Comedian & Writer Aditi Mittal titled ‘Cancer, You Picked The Wrong Girl’, was also well appreciated by the audience.
Several interesting sessions by Abhijay Negi, Yogesh Kumar, Anoop Nautiyal, Anisha Gupta, Dr. Manali Arora, Rohit Trivedi, and Atul Pundir were also held during the day.
One of the interesting sessions during the last day of DLF was between Writer Seema Anand and Singer Sona Mohapatra. Titled ‘The Modern Gaze’, the session focused on various ragas in the Indian Classical music of our country. The panelists further discussed the differences between Ragas & Raginis, Raag Todi & Raag Bhairava, as well as a comparison between several Ragas in mythology related to lovemaking. An insight into Kamasutra was also given during the session.
Another significant session titled ‘Pahad Ke Prasoon’ by renowned Poet Prasoon Joshi was held wherein he was in conversation with Advaita Kala. Popular Singer Sonu Nigam was also part of a highlighting session titled ‘Changing Tunes of Bollywood’ on the concluding day of the Dehradun Literature Festival 2022. The renowned singer was in conversation with Nitin Arora.
Towards the end of his session, Sonu sang a few songs including ‘Sandese Se Ate Hain’, ‘Ye Dil Deewana’, ‘Abhi Mujh Mai Kahin’, ‘Allah Maaf Kare’, and ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’.
The final day saw huge participation from students of various city-based schools, literature enthusiasts, and college students.