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Dreams & Books are each a World


Valley of Words 4 Days to Go:

By Srishtee Sethi

Dreams, books are each a world; and books, we know,

Are a substantial world, both pure and good…

  • William Wordsworth

December in the Doon Valley brings to us mountain mists and easy breeze, afternoons full of citrus dreams. Valley of Words in its 7th edition is set to be held on 16 & 17 December with a line-up like no other. It promises to bring forth an array of books, authors, panel discussions and interactive sessions galore. The first session on day one of the captivating Valley of Words includes a collaborative effort of the TonsBridge School and Village Square. With the ever-engaging platform of the Valley of Words, and a vision which entails bridging gap in literary and cultural landscapes, VoW first initiated a conversation between The TonsBridge School and Village Square while keeping in mind ‘India lives in its villages’.

This statement popularised by Mahatma Gandhi is often referred to in discussions about the country, its past, and its possible future. But what exactly is the Indian village? The Indian village is a dynamic reality which is redefined and re-imagined through contemporary experiences both at a societal as well as individual level. In the most basic sense, the ‘village’ is a kind of human settlement, always standing in contrast to the ‘town’ or ‘city’. Yet, it is also an idea, one which has undergone myriad shifts over the course of our nation’s history.

In an attempt to encourage reading, writing and community engagement, VoW, The TonsBridge School and Village Square co-curated this session. The TonsBridge in a very short span of time has carved a niche for itself as one of the eminent CBSE Schools of Dehradun. The school has created a benchmark in the field of senior secondary education by adopting the latest technology and tools to impart education through unique smart class system. The school is child-focused, aesthetically designed and adaptive with a view to promote learning, support collaboration and provide a personalised and stimulating environment to all. With over 80 students and teachers of the TonBridge actively participating in the session on the inaugural day of the festival, it aims to bring the students to understand the trajectory and significance of tradition and modernity- rural and urban.

At Village Square, the passion about telling the story of rural India runs strong– the good, the tough and the vibrant stories and insights of village life. The attempt is for urban India to read, watch and listen to rural everyday lived realities and tap into the shared humanity that unites us all.

The Tonsbridge School and Village Square’s  upcoming session at Valley of Words is poised to captivate audiences with the art of storytelling. The presentation will feature Village Square’s  recently unveiled coffee table book, complemented by the presence of one of the media fellows, whose compelling story graces the book pages. Additionally, an engaging and enjoyable game, centered around rural India yet relatable to urban students, will add a touch of excitement to the event.

It will be a mission to bridge the gap between rural and urban youth by serving as a conduit for

relevant, compelling, and captivating rural content. Through their initiative, the session aims to ignite a keen interest in the predominantly Indian rural lifestyle among students, introducing them to the nuances of storytelling as a powerful medium. Furthermore, we extend an invitation for students to contribute to Village Square as guest writers, providing them with an opportunity to earn a byline for their contribution.

The Valley of Words (VoW) (Shabdavali) is an open access and free literature and arts festival that brings together readers, writers, critics and listeners from the world of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The festival recognises and felicitates authors from several genres, such as Fiction and Non-fiction in both English and Hindi; Writing for Young Adults and Translation into Hindi and English from Bhashas of India; Writing for Young Adults; and Writing/Picture Books for Children.


(About the Author: Dr Srishtee Sethi is a Sociologist by training who is currently Auditor School Systems in Uttarakhand and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at LMSAI, Harvard University prior to this. She has a PhD from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and a Master’s degree from the University of Leicester, UK. She was a Research Fellow at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.)