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“3 decades of political churn captured in fiction”


Authors from the Valley with Anil Raturi  

By Dr Tania Saili Bakshi; Pics Courtesy: Sneha Bharadwaj 

Dehradun, 5 Jul: Keeping its date with the written word, VoW Cafe – Gallery – Studio hosted former DGP of Uttarakhand Anil Raturi, who spoke about his recent debut novel, “Bhanvar: Ek Prem Kahani”(A Hindi novel), published by Winsar Publishing Company, Dehradun.

The novel revolves around Abhay Nautiyal, the protagonist, who happens to be a child prodigy. The 340 pages cover the protagonist’s journey. There are glimpses of his childhood, adulthood, love, marriage, professional life all in equal measure. The novel has an unusual ending which makes it a must read.

Talking about “Bhanvar: Ek Prem Kahani”, Anil Raturi says, “The book is in the tradition of the ‘Bildungsroman’ genre, like Pather Panchali, Shekhar Ek Jivani or Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man (James Joyce).” He adds, “Apart from the human story, it is also covers the socio, economic, cultural and political churning of the country from 1971 to 2001. The story is symbolically structured in three parts, Parvat, Dhara and Megh.”

As to why he chose to write a novel, pat comes the reply, “Since time immemorial, the most fascinating aspect of human existence is humankind’s ability to tell tales! A story well told can evoke emotions in people and often lead to catharsis. The genre is a perfect tool which allows the author to communicate his comprehensive vision.”

On why he chose Hindi as a medium to express himself, despite his English education, Anil Raturi explains, “I am deeply conscious of my cultural moorings which compelled me to write my first book in the vernacular. I am more interested in communicating with the indigenous than with the global. Hence, the debut novel in Hindi!”

Patrons and volunteers of VoW discussed various points of the novel, as Festival Director Sanjeev Chopra pointed out, “VoW cafe is privileged to host a conversation with Anil Raturi on his debut novel, which is not just the story of the protagonist Abhay Nautiyal, but also captures the Zeitgeist of three crucial decades of India – from 1971 to 2001.”

VoW Cafe – Gallery – Studio is making its way on the map of being connected to the written word. In the past six months, the Café has hosted historian Pradeep Singh, balladeer and cultural scholar Anjali Nauriyal, nationally renowned Hindi poet Leela Dhar Jagudi, chronicler Raj Kanwar, Principal Conservator for Forests Samir Sinha and now added another feather to its cap – Anil Raturi.

Authors from the Valley, a monthly event held every first Sunday of the month in collaboration with Garhwal Post is curated for the literary circuit of Dehradun. The National Book Trust as well as Winsar Publication, Dehradun, had put up an exhibit of their books at the venue as well.

A list of luminaries present at the occasion included Radha Raturi, Additional Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand, Dr S Farooq, Indu Pandey, Aloke and Maanas Lal, Phalguni Dasgupta, Shishir Prashant, Prakash Thapliyal,

Nidhi Sood, Sabhyasanchi Kundu, Shikha Gupta, Tanuj Raman, Sowjanya, Dr Kanchan Negi, Rashmi and Sanjeev Chopra, Sneha Bharadwaj, Sachin Chauhan and students of the DAV Mantrana Team among others.