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“Adapt storytelling traditions to resonate with modern audiences”

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Valley of Words hosts Award-Winning Author Mona Verma

By Tania Saili Bakshi & Nikita Aggarwal

Pics Courtesy: Sachin Chauhan

Dehradun, 3 Mar: Valley of Words Café witnessed an evening of literary enchantment as author Mona Verma launched her latest creation, “The Scent of Himalayas – Stories from the Mystical Mountains”. The event, moderated by Sujata Singh, Vice Principal of Delhi Public School, Dehradun, unfolded into a journey through the cultural beauty of the Himalayan region.

Mona Verma, a prolific writer with nine books and numerous anthologies to her credit, has earned acclaim for her profound understanding of literature and her ability to weave captivating narratives. Her latest offering, “The Scent of Himalayas”, takes the readers into the rich folklore and mystical tales of the Himalayan belt, spanning from Jammu & Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh.

In her opening remarks, Verma expressed her motivation behind the book, emphasising the need to preserve and retell the stories that define India’s cultural heritage. She lamented the fading tradition of oral storytelling and highlighted the disconnect between the younger generation and their roots. “Children are curious beings, but in this era of technology, traditional stories risk being forgotten. It is imperative that we bridge this gap and offer narratives that resonate with contemporary audiences,” she remarked.

Drawing from her own experiences growing up in Uttarakhand, the author emphasised the importance of connecting with one’s roots and heritage. “As a daughter of the Himalayas, I felt a deep sense of responsibility to showcase the enchanting tales that have been passed down through generations,” she explained. “Through ‘The Scent of Himalayas’, I aim to reignite the curiosity and imagination of readers, offering them a glimpse into the esoteric landscapes and vibrant cultures of the Himalayan belt.”

One of the central themes of the evening was the need to adapt storytelling traditions to resonate with modern audiences. Verma expressed her opinion on the disconnect between traditional narratives and the digital generation, stressing the importance of crafting stories that are, both, captivating and relatable. “In the age of 5G and digital distractions, we must reimagine the way we tell stories,” she asserted. “By infusing our tales with relevance and authenticity, we can ensure that they continue to enchant the future generations.”

“The Scent of Himalayas” offers a fresh perspective on traditional tales, presenting them in a format that is both charismatic and relatable to modern readers. Through these stories, she sheds light on the customs, traditions, and historical significance of the Himalayan region, including insights into the history of Dehradun and surrounding areas. With meticulous research and heartfelt storytelling, Verma offers readers a comprehensive insight into the traditions and customs that define this mystical land.

Sujata Singh, a versatile personality from the Doon valley, an academician and a dedicated social worker steered forward the session in her role as moderator. She guided the audience through an evocative discussion with Verma, diving into the inspiration behind her work and the importance of preserving cultural narratives for the generations to come. The session was followed by a lively Q&A session, during which attendees had the opportunity to interact with the author and gain deeper insights into her creative process.

Reflecting on the success of the event, Verma expressed her gratitude to the audience for their enthusiastic response and reaffirmed her commitment to promoting Indian literature and culture. “It is heartening to see such fervent interest in our rich heritage. I hope that ‘The Scent of Himalayas’ will inspire readers to reconnect with their roots and cherish the timeless tales that have shaped our identity,” said Verma.

“The Scent of Himalayas – Stories from the Mystical Mountains” is now available for purchase on Amazon, the Readomania website, and leading bookstores nationwide.