By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 7 Dec: The Booknerds Hangout featured the launch of Hema Pandey’s “Ek Samay Ki Baat Hai’. The author, an engineer by profession, but a storyteller by passion, flew in from Australia to provide the gathering a glimpse of her book. The lead discussant for the evening was Asha Sneh, who is currently working with SIEMAT as Joint Director and has a passion for Hindi Literature.
As all the book lovers gathered, Rohan and Neha Raj, Co-founders of The Booknerds initiated the programme. The first question in everyone’s mind and predictably asked by the moderator for the session, Rohan Raj, was about Pandey’s journey into literature. How living in Australia, in a different culture, did she think about writing short stories on Uttarakhand culture and the milieu? Hema replied that growing up in a joint family, her grandmother used to tell her stories to put her to sleep and so the interest in storytelling was an organic process that grew on her. She had many doubts in her mind – whether she should write in Hindi or English – but witnessing the declining interest in Hindi literature among youngsters in India, she chose Hindi. She also added that the support and guidance provided by Sahitya Sandhya in Australia was a source of encouragement.
Adding further insight into this discussion, Asha Sneh praised the author’s approach and the explicit way she has described the culture, tradition, and lifestyle of the residents of the hill regions of Kumaon. Emphasising the dialect, food, and clothing, she talked about how the book, from the eyes of Hansa, a young child and narrator of the stories, presents the ethos of Uttarakhand. From the devotional nights of “Jagar” to the enthralling smell of “Buransh Ke Phool”, she pinpointed how the author was able to put the essence of Uttarakhand into words.
After discussing the book, Rohan approached the audience for their questions. The attendees put forward a variety of questions about the author’s childhood, as well as the origin of her pen name, Hansa.
The event was attended by ex-Chief Secretary (Uttarakhand) N Ravi Shankar, who appreciated Hema Pandey’s debut effort and the manner in which she has managed to capture Uttarakhand’s traditions and culture.
Hema Pandey and Asha Sneh were presented with a memento by the Co-Founder, Neha Raj. Next, the Booknerds will gather on 16 December for a Book Hustle.