By RAJ KANWAR
Valentina Trivedi has created history by being inducted as the first woman-member on the Board of Governors of The Doon School, which is headed by Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman of Hero Enterprises, and includes several eminent industrialists, consultants and leading professionals. The Headmaster, Matthew Raggett, is also on the Board of Governors. It will be a surprise to many outsiders that the School – recognised worldwide as one of the best boarding schools for Boys in the country – has also produced some eminent girl students. Even though the School is exclusively for boys, it admits daughters of teachers. Valentina is an education consultant and creative writer who successfully straddles various mediums to tell a wide range of stories. She has always had this flair that found its natural habitat at RK Swamy BBDO, New Delhi, where she as a senior copywriter handled both Hindi and English copywriting, gave presentations before prospective clients and developed copy ideas for newspaper ads and TV spots. Subsequently, she also dabbled in script writing, first at UTV Mumbai and, later, as a freelancer, writing commissioned and non-commissioned feature film scripts and directing short films. From writing to performing was a seamless transition for her. She went on to adapt and perform folk tales and also became a successful Dastango. Incidentally, Dastangoi is the revived art form of Urdu storytelling. Performing in Hindustani and pure Urdu, she also adapted Satyajit Ray’s film ‘Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne’ into a Dastan, translating and including its songs. This was much enjoyed by people of all ages at numerous performances including one at the Jaipur Literature Festival. Her repertoire of creative writing is vast and varied, and includes ‘Leap of Faith’, a biopic on the world renowned Yoga Guru BKS Iyengar that she had researched, co-scripted and directed. A native of Dehradun, Valentina had her initial schooling at Montessori School and Cambrian Hall. Later, she joined The Doon School where her father, CK Dikshit, taught Physics. As an alumna of The Doon School, she was the first woman member of the Executive Committee of the Doon School Old Boys’ Society and the first woman Editor-in-Chief of the Quarterly Doon School Old Boys’ Society Newsletter, ‘The Rose Bowl’. Together with a fellow-Dosco, she organised two annual theatre productions (2010 and 2011) with the alumni of The Doon School and Welham Girls’ High School — a first of its kind endeavour, where she handled the selection of actors, director and plays. Since 2010, Valentina has conducted numerous storytelling sessions in India and abroad, apart from a five-day Intensive on Storytelling at the SPIC MACAY International School Convention. She has also conducted workshops in numerous cities for SKILLFESTS organised by the Educational Initiatives (EI) and continues to do so as a freelancer. Some of the platforms where she has been invited to share her views on children and learning are the international conference, ‘Excellence in School Education’ at IIT Delhi, and the ‘Global Educators’ Fest’ organised by ScooNews. Currently, with a friend, she runs a video and audio channel of stories for listeners of all ages under the name ‘Aao Suno Kahaani’.