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Veena Pani Joshi

Veena Pani Joshi

Veena Pani Joshi

It must have been tough back in those days to take up writing. Please take us through the journey.

To begin with, I was a typical homemaker, tending to the needs of the household, looking after the family and even rearing the cattle. At that time, women weren’t educated, so neither was I. So while my children were growing up, whatever free time I used to get, I taught myself to read and write. I had a very hectic schedule and I didn’t want to neglect my household either, but I had a deep-rooted interest in life and that chiseled my passion to read and write. In 1984, Hindi Sahitya Samiti and Classifieds posted an ad wherein they were looking for compositions on Dehradun. I wrote an article on it and owing to the hectic schedule, I was also late in submitting it but they accepted it. The day when results were to be announced, I asked my husband to take me for the ceremony and he was flabbergasted that I wrote. I won the second position in the senior category and that is how I entered into the field of writing.

 

Who are some of your favourite writers?

That’s a really tough question. There are many Garhwali and Kumaoni poets and writers whose work I adore. But to name a few, I really like Manohar Sham Joshi, Himanshu Joshi, Sudhir Pandey, to name a few. The late Rama Prasad ‘Pahadi’ ji, who didn’t get the respect that he deserved, is also one of my favourites. YS Barthwal, Digambar Kunwar, Puri Rajniti and Swargiya Shri Sambhu Prasad Bahuguna.The list is never-ending.

 

Please tell us about your upcoming book that is going to be launched at VoW 2018.

Currently my book ‘Uttarakhand ki Mahilayein, Sangharsh aur Safalta ki Kahaniyan’ is yet to be launched. It has been printed by the Sanskriti Vibhag and comprises my research and interviews about women from the land of Garhwal and Kumaon and their contribution in making Uttarakhand a better place. The people, especially women of these lands have sacrificed a lot for this state and I have tried to keep their stories alive through this book.

 

Do you think technology is a boon or a curse in the field of literature?

It’s a curse. Because technology has made us restricted to small talks. No one is busy in reading or writing, rather they spend their entire time on Whatsapp and Facebook, checking out what other people are up to. I know there are some amazing authors in today’s era who are coming up and showcasing their work because of technology, but still, it’s more of a curse than a boon.

 

What according to you differentiates a good novelist from a mediocre one?

For me, a good novelist is someone who shows the correct way to the readers. A good novelist is free from greed, writes just because he wants to, is not chasing fame; but many authors nowadays just seek fame and money.

 

What is the one thing that gives you scares when you think about the future of literature?

I am really scared about the fact that the literature of Garhwal and Kumaon will vanish into thin air. There are some youngsters who are working arduously to preserve the literature of this region, but they are really too few in numbers. I am really disappointed that Garhwali and Kumaoni haven’t been included in the official state language list, thus contributing to making the literature of the land of Garhwal and Kumaon obsolete.

About the Interviewee:

Veena Pani Joshi is a multitalented Garhwali and Hindi literateur. She is also the deputy editor of Garh Jagar a fortnightly periodical. Veena Pani was born in 1937 in Dehradun. Her father late Chakradhar Bahuguna was one of the pillars of Garhwali poetry, Garhwali prose and Garhwali folk literature.Veena Pani Joshi has published hundreds of poems in various periodicals. Readers, critics and scholars appreciated her poetry collection’ Pithai Pairalo Buransh’.

Critics such as Chatak, Dr. Manju Dhoundiyal, Kukreti have commented that poems of Veena Pani Joshi are full of love for children, environment, women power, spirituality and nature’s images. Joshi has written satirical poetry in Garhwali too.