11 March 2013

Literature Festival in Agra

I am attending the SAARC Festival for Literature organized by Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature (FOSWAL) in Agra on a personal invitation. I am recommended and guided by Tshering C Dorji, the writer of 'Shadow Around the Lamp' and 'Living the Bhutanese Way'. His many years of experience at this festival across the south Asian nations has earned him great respect among the members and I am enjoying walking after him into the warm group of writers.
This is my first attendance at any literature festival and I didn't give a second thought in accepting it. Besides quenching my literary thirst of meeting writers from different nations I also wanted so much to meet the founder, Ajeet Cour, who has put together all her life in uniting and promoting young poets and writers of south Asian nations against many odds. The charismatic lady welcomed me in her arms and joked to the crowd about how we Bhutanese were scared of train. I will write about this in a later post.
The festival has brought together over 100 writers from the SAARC nations and we were just two from Bhutan. We have lots of writers in Bhutan and I am surprised that many of them had attended the earlier editions of this festival but they never returned though the doors were always open. Tshering C Dorji returned year after year with new members and has become a part of FOSWAL family.
The festival showcases hundreds of publications of SAARC Writers and works of Ajeetji herself and of her artist daughter Arpana Cour's.
Morning are for academic paper presentations and afternoon till late evening we get to listen to poetry from different nations and in various forms.
Four writers were awarded Young Poet Award for their works in poetry. And five new books were launched at the festival. Tshering C Dorji's Timeless Diary will be launched soon.
Today is our turn to recite our poems but I don't know when I last wrote one, I rather proposed to talk about blogging in Bhutan.
Tomorrow we are visiting Taj Mahal and traveling together in a couch back to Delhi from where we will fly back to our own countries.

Ajeet Cour, The Founding Lady of FOSWAL, and undying force behind it!

Young Poet Award Winners

Ajeet Cour taking Tshering C Dorji into her arms

Showcase of Publication by members

Literature Festival Venue- Grand Hotel, Agra


  1. Passu, you should read Ajeet Caur's Pebbles in a Tin drum - its a heartwrenching autobiography. Perhaps FOSWAL will gift you one for attending.

    Also, keep an eye open and look around. Literary men tend to have adventures that span beyond their books :P

  2. Can you please see if they have a publication from the 2010 edition of the festival. Thanks,

  3. It is very happy news to know that you are attending the festival. It is very great opportunity for you. We love to hear more from you.

  4. Its great that you are attending the festival. Will be a wonderful opportunity.

  5. That's wonderful. Glad to know that you are taking part in the festival. Looking forward to reading your nest post, probably the joke u mentioned above.

  6. Thanks Kinga for for your recommendation, I was otherwise clueless about which book to pick. I was reading "Pebbles in a Tin Drum" in bus, train and flight on my journey back home. It touched every cell in my heart. If I had read the book before I met Ajeet Cour I would have hugged her so hard... May be I will do it in next festival.
    Your picture and bio was there in the Delegate's book... you were expected!

  7. Dendup, All the publications were there and i was so happy to see so many articles written by Bhutanese writers... you should come again!

  8. Monu, Rachna and Dorji, you guys should come to this festival, it's so nice to be among the like minded though nothing significance happens. No famous writers come there, but that is another charm in itself... I love passionate writers more than glamorous ones!


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