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VoW Café & Valley of Words | Shabdavali Honours itself

By: Tania Saili Bakshi/Lakshika Bajaj

Pic: Shailendra Kant

At its latest edition of ‘Authors from the Valley,’ the VoW Team hosted an accomplished guest from Dehradun, Brig. Krishna Gopal Behl (Retd.), Octogenarian, Poet, Columnist, Author and Former Deputy Surveyor General of India and a proficient writer in Hindi, English, Urdu and Punjabi.

Brig KG Behl has been a pioneer in many-a-first in a town he calls home, and his book, first published in 2020, "Glimpses from Survey of India—covering 250 years" is a tribute to his years spent in association with the Survey of India. And his book of poetry on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

The coffee table book is an encyclopedia on the Survey of India. It provides detailed information accompanied with coloured photographs of surveyors, instruments and equipment used in the past. Written in rhythmic prosaic poetry the book covers all the aspects of survey including geographical; revenue; botanical, zoological; geological etc. One finds mention of rugged terrain infested with wild animals, besides providing geographical, historical and cultural aspects of India during the period. Legendary Nain Singh Negi finds mention along with Surveyors who left an indelible imprint in mapping the country.

Talking about the book, Lt Gen Gurmeet Singh (Retd) Governor of Uttarakhand had stated, “This fascinating and informative book is written in a rhythmic and poetic style that has indeed appealed to a large number of readers.”

The moderator for the session, Arun Kumar Singhal another accomplished Doonite, writer, author and social worker settled in the valley in 1970. Arun has been honoured with commendations from the former Hon’ble President of India, Late Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, and three times by the Hon’ble Governor of Uttarakhand.

The candid discussion revolved around the author's lifestyle, work style, his books and key areas highlighted by the author. Brig.

The evening was well-spent in the august company of eminent citizens and young minds from in and around Dehradun. ‘The Authors from the Valley’ is a monthly event held last Sunday of every month at the VoW Café-Library-Gallery-Studio. This unique concept is turning into a bookmark in the literary calendar of those who are associated with literature not only in Dehradun but also in-and-around the Doon Valley.

Dr Sanjeev Chopra, Festival Director, Valley of Words|Shabdavali stated, “VoW cafe is delighted to host Big Behl who has made a name for himself in diverse fields - as a competent surveyor, as a distinguished soldier , as a polyglot writer, as an active member of the Doon Citizens Council, and most of all, a wonderful human being . His muse is eclectic - from a tribute to the hero of the Azad Hind Fauj to a history of the Surveyor General's office in verse and translation of the Bhagwad Geeta. He epitomises what VoW has always aspired to promote - an intergenerational connect !”

Young doonite Abhinav Tyagi brought the evening alive with his rendition of Garhwali and Bollywood songs which added more sparkle to the magical evening.

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