Through the majestic entrance of the only 5 star Hotel in our country, the mountain echoe festival attracted many writer, author, poet and the passionate amateurs inside the TAJ Tashi for the 3rd and final day. But the special thing about attending the 3rd day festival was, almost everyone was there especially to listen to the Indian wizard behind all the novels which has been successfully adapted into blockbuster bollywood movies and yes!, I was also there eagerly waiting for his turn to come up, Mr. Chetan Bhagat.
As I strolled slowly through the corridor down the stairs, there was an epic display of wonderful photographs of Birds of Bhutan. Down I went, to my right, gigantic glass windows displayed an impeccably beautiful garden view with people sipping coffees and having their hi, hello talks. I was having trouble locating the hall. As I turned left, there were two dark, black giant doors, one in the middle of the corridor and another towards the end. It seemed locked and nobody seem to going in or coming out. Hesitantly, I pushed the end door with some force assuming it to be heavy but no effort was needed. The door spread open leading me finally to the hall. There were people all seated with chairs all occupied and their eyes fixed up straight to the stage where Mr. Yeshey Dorji was having conversation with Bahar Dutt. Then, did I come to know the amazing art of bird’s photography displayed outside was the work of the man on the stage. AMAZING!
Luckily, a boy nearby left the seat and immediately I pounced upon it. It was a melodious feeling to be listening to the sound of birds chirping and singing, being played through the projector with the pictures on the screen. The hall was cozy with AC on and the lanterns arranged beautifully on the wheel hanging on the ceiling was an exotic view.
couldn't help but to take picture of this shiny lanterns.....
Next, Her Royal Queen Mother Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuk launched the Book “MARG: Arts Of Bhutan” followed by the conversation between Monisha Ahmed, Yeshey Dorji and Azha Karma.
It was then 1:40 p.m. Chetan Bhagat was to be in, anytime. All were gathered inside with every little space occupied, even with some standing and craning their neck to see him enter. I got my seat right in the middle. We were all anxiously waiting for him to enter through the door. Few men in gho came in and walked right up to the stage. I didn’t give any notice to those man in gho but instead kept my eyes fixed to the door to see a man with a suit to enter in when I finally turned my head and gave a proper look to the two man on the stage. Damn! One of them was Chetan Bhagat dressed in gho. Most of us got surprised to see him that way. He seemed quite uncomfortable in the Bhutanese attire and his joke about the feeling of wearing a skirt with winds blowing in gave a pretty strong crack of laughter from the audience.
Tshewang Dendup had a good amount of questions for him and the audience were all waiting for their turn. Chetan shared his concerns for the atrocities surrounding the Indian population because of pollutions, corruptions and for the young youths battling against the race of modern era. He told us about what it is to be a Chetan in India and how the challenge of doing something which he feared like joining as a judge in “Nach Baleyeh” dancing show has given him a new strength. It was a fun 30 minutes to listen to his talks with humorous crack of jokes time to time.
and thats kamal struggling to get a snap!!hehe.
When the floor was opened for questions, the audience battled raising their hands to ask their share of why and what. My friend Kamal, sitting right next to me asked him how he came about with his first book hitting the market with tremendous success and with what magic formula. He said it was his perseverance to keep on trying and never giving up. Like him, there were small school children of age 8 -10 and he was proud to see young hands asking him many questions.
The session ended so quick. Kamal had a letter written for him and both of us ran after him as soon he left the hall. There were people gathered around him getting their books signed. We fought in and tried to take a picture as well. With a bit of struggle, I managed to get a quick photo with him. Hope the writer enjoyed speaking on the mountainous land of thunder dragon though it was for a short duration of time. And I hope the experience he had attracts him back here once again, next time for a longer conversation.
yeah! poor boy...so sad...could manage only that much....:D
I stayed for sometime listening to “Dancing Earth”, conversations between the poets from two mountainous native places. Mr.Ngangom and Ms.Janice Patriat from north eastern state of India recited their poems with Dipika chetri from Bhutan giving in hers.
Attending the mountain echoe literary festival was an inspiring experience for me. To see great writers having talks about their book, poems proudly infront of the their readers gave me a kick of encouragement to also see myself one day speaking on the same platform. Moreover I was proud to see many Bhutanese writers weighing on and on with the writers from outside. Despite the fact that the book market in our country is very low, it was a pride feeling to know that our writers aren’t any less than any of the writer from India or any other country. I look forward to attending many such events and in each step, pour in more and more lessons or knowledge inside me.