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By November 21, 2017No Comments

Source : The Pioneer

Dehradun : Beautiful and meaningful words are still echoing in the Doon valley even though the international festival of literature and arts (Valley of Words) concluded on Sunday evening.

The famous Urdu poet, Munawwar Rana, recited his poetry at the open air venue  on the last day of the festival even as the people sat mesmerised despite the chill. There could not have been a better way to pull down the curtains of this first edition of the festival that created a special vibrancy and warmth in the city since it started on November 17.

Governor Krishan Kant Paul, himself a man of letters, inaugurated the festival and in his speech, he had quoted Mirza Ghalib’s sher “Jee Dhoondta hai phir wahi fursat ke raat din, baithhe rahein tassavur-e-jaana kiye huey” while talking about the lack of leisure in today’s mechanised life.

He said people could no not find moments of leisure where they could sit and think, read or write. “I think people do not even get time to write love letters. They communicate in abbreviations!” he said. He said that if we do not focus on inculcating the reading habit among the young ones, we could face a serious lack of readers in the future.

In a way, this set the tone for the festival which stressed upon the need for creating more bibliophiles and attracting the youngsters towards reading and writing.

Many children and teenagers could be seen at the festival, asking for various books at the book stalls there. That was an encouraging sign! Questions were asked by school children who were attending many a session. The experience of being face to face with many well-known writers was indeed thrilling not just for the youngsters but for all book lovers of the Doon valley.

Authors, painters, publishers and photographers of the Doon valley and other parts of the state were prominently featured at the event. People mixed with each other and spoke at length to each other-something that is getting rare in these days of digital communication and hectic schedules.

The personal communication-face to face-was one of the best gifts provided by the three- day literary and cultural extravaganza, the largest literary fest to be held in the valley till now. It had seventy two sessions in three days (running parallel) at a single, central venue.

Getting books signed by their favourite authors was wonderful for people who gathered at the VoW (Valley of Words).Talking to them and building a personal rapport was possible too. Meeting other book lovers was great for them too. Authors meeting another authors was very interesting too.

Journalists(from print and electronic media), writers, poets, historians, academics, painters, cartoonists, photographers, publishers, school children, college students and many others could be seen at the colourful venue for three days. Something alive and vibrant was happening after a long time in this city which has always been known for its writers.

Urdu,English and Hindi poetry sessions were held at VOW that brought into focus many talents from Dehradun. Literature of Uttarakhand was also discussed at length.

There was a special session on the great writer, Gaura Pant Shivani, the pride of Uttarakhand. Shekhar Pathak, the well-known historian, was also present for a session on Nain Singh and Kishen Singh Rawat. Doon based Arvinder Singh’s book “What a Life:A kaleidoscope on Rajendra Puri’s Cartoons” was launched at the fest.

Tarun Vijay, author and social worker, delivered the keynote address at the valedictory function last evening. All volunteers, coordinators and curators of VOW were thanked and felicitated by the orgnanisers–the Shivalik Hills Foundation Trust.

But what is echoing most in the valley is Munawwar Rana’s Urdu verses recited by him despite not being too well these days. His voice was as resonant, as deep and strong as ever. His spirit is indomitable. He brought the VoW to a spirited closing. For all those who witnessed this opening edition of the festival, the wait for next year’s edition has already begun!

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