25 November 2022
The 5th Scindia Literary Fest commenced on 14 November 2021, coinciding with Children’s Day. 14 renowned Kavis, poets, and writers came to the Fort and painted the air ‘literary’. The Chief Guest of the Opening Ceremony was Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, an economist and a distinguished Civil Servant. The ceremony of lighting of the lamp was carried out and guest and dignitaries along with the Principal, Vice Principal, Dean of Co-curricular activities and the Senior School Prefect lighted the lamp igniting the spirit of the fest in these hallowed portals. To the chant of the Saraswati Vandana, the fraternity began their day, moving onto the respective sessions. The first session was of Mr Montek Singh Alhuwalia and the students sat spellbound all through the session, hanging onto every word of the speaker. Meanwhile, Ms Roopal Kewalya took the students on a journey through the film industry at the skating rink. Next, the Scindian fraternity welcomed Mr Smarak Swain to talk about his book- ‘The Hawala Agent’, an appropriation of a real-life case of money laundering and conspiracy. Ms Rituparna Ghosh a performing artist, and a TEDx speaker, Founder of Your Story Bag, a Storytelling, Training, Consulting & Coaching company had a highly interactive session with the students. She directed students how to form stories and podcast it. As the evening air cooled, and misty clouds pulled over the vast expanse of the sky, we sat for the Mahakavi Sammelan. Four poets, renowned for their deep voice and resonant words, reached into a world beyond our grasp to deliver the sweetest morsels of the spoken word. Kavi Vineet Chauhan, Kavi Raj Kaushik, Kavi Dinesh Raghuvanshi, and Kavi Dr Vishnu Saxena were the stars of the evening. The fraternity applauded the guests after every line savouring the words of wisdom. Mr Sharif Rangnekar, communication consultant, ex-journalist, musician, curator, organiser of the Rainbow Lit Fest and most relevantly an author; came to the 5th annual Scindia Literary Fest to speak about his book, Straight to Normal; My Life as a Straight Man. Mr Gaurav Mohanty, writing his debut novel, was invited to speak upon the genre of fantasy as a whole. Dr Deepti Priya Mehrotra held the evening with a few simple stories, of women who shone brighter than stars facing adversaries against all odds. Her book, Her Stories; Indian Women down the Ages is a love letter to the women of India, who are unrepresented and unheard. Mr Kevin Missal, one of India’s most renowned authors was invited to the Fest and he gave us an insight into his work. At the age of 21, he wrote ‘Kalki’ which turned into a bestseller and earned him recognition in the world of literature. Capt. Devendra Bhatnagar (Ex-Jayaji, 1974) an alumnus of The Scindia School has written two exquisite books of poetry- Poems from the Seas and Shores: Of Dreams and Mermaids and Of Dreams and Dreamers. He talked about the overwhelming presence of the Fort on his life and said that he had déjà vu while coming to Gwalior and felt that he had never left the Fort, he was always here. He marvels at the way that the students of the Fort combine sports and academic education. “Whatever one does, one does should do it well”, was his message to the students. Ms Anita Krishan talked about her book Ghosts of the Silent Hill, published in January 2020. The book brings to life spine-chilling stories based on the experiences of the people who underwent some bizarre supernatural ordeals. Ms Krishan declared the 5th Scindia Literary Fest closed and thereby the festival which kept the students and adults deeply engrossed for three days, came to a close.