By Dr Tania Saili Bakshi
Ringing in International Women’s Day two days early, a limited but engaged Dehradun audience got together to celebrate their common passion for the written word with a lady author regaling those present at the venue with stories of Uttarakhand’s legends.
Actor, Author, Senior Journalist Dr Anjali Nauriyal engaged the audience in an hour-long session hosted by the VoW Cafe – Gallery – Studio along with Garhwal Post as part of a monthly interaction with an author from the Valley.
Dr Nauriyal brought alive a part of Uttarakhand’s history as she spoke about her book ‘Retelling of the Traditional Ballads of Garhwal’, an evocative effort on part of the author who penned the art of story-telling and legendary ballads of Garhwal.
The unique anthology is a collection of ten handpicked popular ballads. Anjali’s intention in compiling this book has been, “to enlighten the youth of today by giving them a glimpse of our rich literature, historical and legendary chronicles”.
Baadis or traditional singers and dancers, once a common sight in Garhwal and an integral part of every ritual, ceremony and festivity have now vanished altogether. Retelling the legend of Madho Singh Bhandari to Lodi Rikhola; Jeetu Bagdwal; Surju Kaunl; Gadhu Sumriyal; Malu Sahi and Rajula, entwined with nostalgia, anecdotes and research, the author brought alive the heroes of the hill state.
While Manoj Barthwal read extracts from ‘Retelling of the Traditional Ballads of Garhwal’, Anjali highlighted the fact of how, “The younger generation of balladeers does not seem interested in the learning and propagation of folk tradition while the older one finds neither status nor money in this vocation, yet how these tales though remote in time and spirit have an abiding relevance even today.”
Festival Director Dr Sanjeev Chopra added, “Anjali Nauriyal is one of Dehradun’s best-known story-tellers and balladeers: her words bring alive the legends of Garhwal – including the ones which need to be refreshed in the minds of Gen Zee! Her readings also mark VoW’s celebration of the International Women’s Day 2022.”
This friendly, informal, relaxed monthly event entitled ‘Authors from the Valley’ scheduled for the first Sunday of every month is dedicated to the literary circuit of Dehradun where critics, fans, reviewers, authors and guests congregate by invite only, to celebrate an author and their work.
Present on the occasion were Kulbhushan Kain, VK Taneja, Naomi Nauriyal, Aishwarya, Sunita Vijay, Brigadier Sharma, Satish Sharma, Manoj Barthwal, ED, ONGC, Hemant Kochar, Rashmi and Sanjeev Chopra, Sneha Bharadwaj, Bikram Singh and others.