Home Dehradun Dehradun Literature Festival’s 2nd Day Highlight – A Tribute to Agatha Christie

Dehradun Literature Festival’s 2nd Day Highlight – A Tribute to Agatha Christie

By Our Staff Reporter 
Dehradun, 28 Oct: The 5th edition of the Dehradun Literature Festival (DDLF) continued to captivate audiences on its second day, with a series of engaging sessions dedicated to the timeless literary legacy of Agatha Christie. This year, DDLF proudly partnered with the acclaimed Agatha Christie Festival, which recently concluded in the United Kingdom, to bring the mystery and magic of Christie‘s world to literary enthusiasts.
The day commenced with an intriguing session titled ‘Agatha Christie and Her Relevance Today’ by Saumya Kulshreshtha and Dr Ruby Gupta. Dr Gupta, a Writer and Professor at IMA, shared her inspiring journey, stating, “To all the children, I would say that do not restrain yourself in one field. Make sure to pick up the field that you love. I never wanted to become a boring professor, so I started writing academic books. I challenged myself to pick up something different, and that’s how I picked up the mystery.”
Dr Ruby also shed light on her early encounters with Agatha Christie‘s work, saying, “My world became richer every time I picked up Agatha Christie. Her books are like a puzzle, and that influenced me a lot towards mystery. That’s how my love for Crime Writing started.”
The literary journey continued with a session titled ‘Agathalogy – The Life, Literature, and Legacy of Agatha Christie.’ Dr Mark Aldridge, an Agatha Christie expert, Dr Manjiri Prabhu, and the acclaimed filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj (virtually) explored various facets of Agatha Christie‘s work and influence. Dr Aldridge shared his connection to Christie‘s writings, stating, “I’m from the same town where Agatha was born. My mother has been a huge Agatha Christie fan, and that fondness of her drew me to Agatha Christie‘s books.” He also emphasized the importance of love and relationships in Christie‘s narratives.
Dr Manjiri Prabhu expressed her deep admiration for Agatha Christie‘s unique writing style and her love for dogs, a passion that the famous author shared.
Vishal Bhardwaj, discussing his recent OTT release, “Charlie Chopra and the Mystery of the Solang Valley,” a Christie-inspired adaptation, highlighted Agatha Christie‘s universal appeal, saying, “Agatha Christie is everyone’s favorite, and we have grown up reading her books. One who has not read Agatha Christie is missing something in their life. Her plot and characters are unmatchable.” He also shared insights into the choice of location for the shoot, explaining, “Because the whole mystery is around snow, I needed a place where it snows a lot. I initially wanted to do it in Joshimath Auli – it is a beautiful place, unfortunately, at that time, a tragedy happened in Joshimath, and nobody could access that place. That’s why I had to shift my story from Uttarakhand to Solang, Himachal Pradesh.”
The second day also featured a session on ‘A Cop in Cricket – Insights into Corruption in Cricket’ by Former Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, who played a crucial role in solving the Nirbhaya case. The session was moderated by Mukesh Tyagi. Neeraj Kumar shared his experiences and emphasized the importance of standing up for what is right, saying, “The ghastly Nirbhaya case changed many aspects of several laws and regulations. It was indeed one of the worst cases in the history of crimes in the country. I would like to suggest to the younger generation present here that if you haven’t done anything wrong, always take a stand for yourself and never back down.”
Neeraj Kumar also introduced his latest book, “A Cop in Cricket,” which delves into the world of match-fixing and spot-fixing in cricket.
An enlightening session on ‘Learn Don’t Study – Learning and Unlearning in the 21st Century’ by Pramath Raj Sinha was also held. The session was moderated by HS Mann. Pramath Raj Sinha shared his thoughts on the importance of trustworthy media and the significance of liberal arts education, highlighting the journey of Ashoka University.
In a captivating session titled ‘Love and Rebellion in Dystopia – A Literary Exploration,’ authors Mona Verma, Harshali Singh, and Manik Kaur shared their insights. Harshali Singh emphasized the connection between love and rebellion, highlighting that her relatable characters are catalysts for change through asking questions. Kaur discussed the timeless, universal language of love, transcending media and periods. Mona Verma reflected on the evolving role of women writers, noting the historical dominance of male authors and the transformation in literature’s speech and meaning with the increased presence of women writers today.
The second day of the DDLF witnessed various workshops, Kintsugi – A workshop on spoken word poetry by Nayab Midha, and The Plot Thickness – A workshop on Detective Fiction by Dr Mark Aldridge were enjoyed by one and all present.
A session titled ‘The Mythic Tapestry of Indian Epics’ featured Dr Bibek Debroy and Akshat Gupta as speakers, moderated by Prashant Kochhar. Dr Debroy highlighted the ancient tradition of referring to the Ramayana and Mahabharata as Itihaasa, while Akshat Gupta discussed his trilogy of books about the seven immortals, or Chiranjeevis, often overlooked by today’s generation.
In a session titled ‘The Creation of Modern Cities,’ featuring Swapna Liddle, Mandeep Rai, Lokesh Ohri, and Anmol Jain, moderated by Shashwati Taluqdar, the discussion focused on Indians’ role in shaping colonial modernity, the concept of newcomers contributing to a place’s history, and the enduring structures in towns like Mussoorie.
Another session by Dr Manjiri Prabhu was held on ‘Clandestine and Chronicles: A Journey into the World of Detective Fiction’ which was moderated by Mona Verma. This was followed by a Poetry performance titled ‘Aur Suno’ by entrepreneurial creative leader Nirmika Singh.
An engaging session, titled ‘Her Story in Verse – Celebrating Women Poets,’ featuring Nayab Midha, Nirmika Singh, Anamika Singh, Mehak Goyal, and Saumya Kulshreshtha, received widespread appreciation from all attendees. The poets also had the opportunity to recite their compositions, adding to the sessions allure.
Canadian actress Lisa Ray & Sreemoyee Piu Kundu’s session on Beyond Cancer – A Ray of Triumph was held during the day. Lisa explained how cancer changed things for her. She said her stem cell surgery felt like being close to death & being reborn. She also mentioned how her journey helped others after she wrote a blog about what it’s like living with cancer.
Several more sessions were conducted during the second day of DDLF, including a session by Avinash Das, Amit Rai and Prashant Kashyap on Ratings Reconsidered – Bollywood and Beyond, From Headliners to Bestsellers – Where Reality Meets Fiction by Aloke Lal, Maanas Lal, and Siddhant Arora, Raising Humans, Getting it Right, Parents of Outliners by Mansi Zaveri, Sandeep Bedi, Khushboo Grewal and Jyotika Bedi, Getting it Right – Parents of Outliners by Saurabh Dwivedi and Aditi Maheshwari Goyal, Voices of Change – Inspiring Youth for a Safe and Secure Bharat by DGP Ashok Kumar, Neha Joshi, Priyal Bhardwaj, Dhara Pandey and Arushi Jain.
An engaging session on ‘Kabir – Our Contemporary’ by Purushottam Agarwal, Chandan Sinha and Randhir Arora also took place. During the session, Purushottam discussed Kabir’s contemporary relevance, highlighting how Kabir’s exploration of life’s meaning profoundly impacts him. He noted that, unlike most writers, Kabir’s wisdom and experiences can be discovered within his verses. What sets Kabir apart is his lifelong journey of enlightenment, making every moment in his own life a moment of profound insight.
The day’s culmination was an eagerly anticipated session at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa, featuring renowned poet Wasim Barelvi and Ranveer Chauhan in a captivating discussion on ‘Urdu Adab aur Wasim Barelvi – Ek Mulaqat.’ Siddharth Shandilya skillfully moderated the session, and the audience was spellbound as Wasim Barelvi recited his evocative compositions, leaving an indelible mark on everyone’s hearts.
DDLF, Founder and Producer, Samraant Virmani, said, “The third and concluding day of DDLF on 29th October will have some of the finest authors and celebrities including Hindol Sengupta, Imtiaz Ali, Shobhita Dhulipala, Ashok Chakradhar, Sameer Soni Muzaffar Ali among many more.”