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Literary meet in Shimla toy train today

By August 20, 2018No Comments

Source : The Tribune

Shimla, August 18 : A unique literary meet will be held on board the UNESCO world heritage Shimla-Kalka toy train tomorrow as 30 writers and poets will undertake this memorable journey dedicated to the memory of Bhalkhoo, a villager, who earned the title of an “illiterate engineer” by making the rail project possible.

Disclosing this here on Saturday, eminent writer SR Harnot said this would be the first-of-its-kind journey in the history of the Railways. He said a literary meet in the train was being organised jointly by the Himalaya Literature, Culture and Environment Forum and the Naval Prayas.

Harnot said Bhalkhoo, a resident of remote Jhaza village near Chail, who was just a shepherd, was given the title of an “illiterate engineer” by HS Harington, chief engineer of the rail line during the British regime. Bhalkhoo helped and guided British engineers during the construction of the Kalka-Shimla railway line between 1898 and 1903.

Harnot said a full coach with a seating capacity of 30 writers had been reserved. “The journey has been divided into different sessions named after prominent railway stations like Shimla, Summer Hill, Taradevi, Kaithlighat, Kandaghat, Kanoh and Barog,” he said.

During various sessions, the artists will recite their poetry and gazals, while the session will be chaired by budding writers. This creative dialogue will include 30 writers. The compartment will have speaker and a mike to facilitate the session.

Harnot stated that the idea behind the move was to carry literary activities to different fields and, prior to this, a Kavi Sammelan was held in the open jail near Kanda near here. Somesh Goyal, Director General of Police (Jails), who is also a poet, would be part of the literary journey, on Sunday.

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