Mona Verma


Recipient of the Uttarakhand Ratna, 2014, Mona Verma is the author of four acclaimed works of fiction ‘A Bridge to Nowhere’, ‘God is a River…a story of faith’, ‘The White Shadow’, and ‘The Clown of Whitefields & other stories.’ Her other professional assignments include editing biographies, self-help books and science journals.Her contribution towards English Literature has won her several awards including the ‘WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE’ Award from the All India Women’s Conference, Hindustan Times WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD, Outstanding Alumnus of Delhi Public School Society, and the prestigious award from NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS INDIA.A Paul Harris fellow, she also serves as a soft skills trainer and personality enhancement programmer in various universities across the country.

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Would you like to talk about your latest literary endeavours?

Besides having had written books, like ‘A Bridge to nowhere’ or ‘The Clown of White Fields’, that were launched by eminent writers like Ruskin Bond and Tom Alter themselves, I am currently working on an anthology named ‘The Other’. This is a project incorporating 40 different authors including I myself, where I happen to be not only a contributor but also an editor. It is an anthology directed towards many people living in the fringes of the society, the very reason what made us title it ‘The Other’. Moreover, ‘other’ may not just be a person but also an abstract emotion like a flaw or an immortality that is condemned. We have all the authors writing differently, presenting their individual thoughts and stories.

What is that one element which fascinates you about 'Haiku and Limerick'? Kindly share with us your thoughts about the forthcoming workshop.

Haiku, at one hand, is a short form of Japanese poetry traditionally evoking images of the natural world, whereas Limerick is considered as a European nonsensical poem. They both, thus, stand to be worlds apart. Even my upcoming workshop in the RIMC is going to be based on the very topic of Haiku and Limerick. Besides this, I am going to address on topics like various forms of poetry, like an epic, a narrative or a free verse. This would be propagated only to help children write a Haiku appreciative of nature as well as cook a short poem that holds the power to convey thoughts of a whole long story. I am interested not merely in Haiku poetry but also that as a storytelling technique. I, moreover, chose Limerick as the workshop’s topic because I wanted to conclude the latter on a humorous note which the Limerick will certainly assist me in doing.

What would you like to say about the Literary scenario of Uttarakhand?

Uttarakhand has, undeniably, given many theatre personalities and literary icons to the world. It is our proximity to nature and simplicity, I believe, that makes the people belonging here stand apart. The exuberant and exotic ambience of the place, moreover, has been responsible in producing writers of utmost romantic temperament, those being appreciative of nature. I find us to be more connected and down to earth as compared to the people of the metropolitan region if I may say so. I, myself, was born here and have somehow managed to also be married in the same place. I, thereby, will certainly not give up this place for anything in the world.

What is your take on the reading culture of our country? Do you think that these Literature festivals are successful in promoting reading?

I wonder if literature festivals really promote reading as a writer may be invited to speak on general issues, however, he is bound to address only a selected section of the society and sometimes those who might not be even dealing with those issues. Also that these literature festivals have become a recurring agenda that can only inculcate the urge to read at the most but not really change, say, a drug addict into a hardcore writer.

What is your perspective on the upcoming Art and Literature Festival, 'Valley of Words'?

I can make out that it is going to be a huge initiative as all the people involved in bringing it together can be seen around working very hard. For instance, the attempt of organising workshops before the final festival makes me really look upto the whole concept of supporting a not mere flash in the pan kind of thing. The idea of building upto the festival generates an exciting aura. I really like the fact that they have made us engage in it already by organising workshops and holding interactive sessions before hand.

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