By Tania Saili Bakshi
Pics: Divyanshu Bhatt
Dehradun, 6 Feb: An intimate gathering of people came together to celebrate their love for the written word.
Together with the Garhwal Post, The VoW Cafe at Sahastradhara Road has initiated a monthly interaction with an author from the Valley with like-minded authors, writers and critics to discuss volumes that have been written, as well as those which are a work in progress.
The series started with Author and Historian Pradeep Singh, well-known author of ‘Sals of the Valley’ and the ‘Suswa Saga’. The author spun magic with his words as he regaled the audience with his stories of Dehradun across the ages. As the scion of an old Dehradun family, Pradeep’s extensive knowledge of public archives as well as private papers, packed with humour, facts and interesting anecdotes helped him embellish his stories.
Talking about his hometown, Dehradun, the author spoke about all the important historical landmarks in the evolution of the valley to present day.
Covering the late medieval and early modern era, Pradeep Singh gently took the audience down the ages, giving them a glimpse into the glorious past that went into making Dehradun a town known for more than just grey hair and green hedges.
Starting from 1646-1687 when Guru Ram Rai settled in Dehradun, followed by the Gorkha rule along with the establishment of the rule of the British East India Company and, later, the British Crown, Pradeep Singh brought the past alive with such precision and facts that time flew by.
Keeping Covid protocol in place, the limited gathering enjoyed the evening at the VoW Cafe – Gallery – Studio. ‘Authors from the Valley,’ promises to be a monthly affair through the year, where like-minded people will congregate, by invite, to celebrate an author from Dehradun.
Elaborating upon the idea behind the event, Dr Sanjeev Chopra, the Festival Director of Valley of Words, explained, “In this day and age of webinars, it is also important to have conversations with authors, reviewers and critics over coffee. The discussions will be friendly, informal and relaxed. VoW is a cafe with a Library which encourages its patrons to unwind, relax, read and discuss.”
Expressing his delight at the wonderful response, Chopra said, ‘We hope to do this every month.’
Media-partner for the event Garhwal Post’s Satish Sharma called it, “Simply one of the finest literary initiatives in Doon’s firmament,” adding, “It’s a platform that can raise serious questions and ideas relating to the state and its people.”
Present on the occasion were Dr Sanjeev Chopra, Rashmi Chopra, Mr & Mrs Manoj Barthwal, ED, ONGC, Kulbhushan Kain, Arvindar Singh, Sidhant Arora, Pramode Kant, Mr and Mrs Ravishankar, Jyoti Dhawan, Madhu Singh, Hemant Kochar and Bikram Singh.