A getaway in the hills

Last week, a group of writers and I were part of the Te Aroha Literature Studio Writer’s Retreat in Dhanachuli, near Mukteshwar. There will be more written about the discussions and the learnings from that retreat eventually, but because I am dead lining right now on something that must be submitted in a couple of days, I leave you with this. Some photographs of the lovely venue and the interesting and wonderful mix of folks that were part of this retreat.

I must add, a huge thank you to Sumant Batra, the committed patron of the arts who hosted this fabulous retreat at his wonderful luxury boutique hotel Te Aroha, to Vibha Malhotra, vibrant and passionate about writing and literature, the founder of Literature Studio, who kindly invited me to be part of this retreat. Also to Dr Sakshi Chanana for moderating the lovely panel discussion I was part of, on Social Media and the writer, a topic I have been grappling with for yonks and coming sadly, to no acceptable decision.

Among my fellow participants, I was honoured to meet stalwarts like Amir Or, Sudeep Sen and Geet Chaturvedi who introduced me to the magical beauty of poetry read aloud, something I had sadly been oblivious to in all these years of reading some poetry (not too much, I must confess). Rashmi Nambiar, who made me realise that the power of a story read with emotion can churn your heart up and dissolve it into tears, Supriya Dhaliwal, for her wonderful confidence and overwhelming maturity in her poetry, Maulshri Shukla Rajdhan for her powerful poetry and prose that provoked, disturbed and moved one, Kulpreet Yadav for the commitment and dedication he brought to his writing which was most inspiring given the slacker I am when it comes to pushing self and work, Vijay Datta for his love for poetry and the depth he brought to the discussions, Vineetha Mokkil for proof that short stories do have a market, despite all they tell us, Saritha Rao for the sheer joie de vivre she brought to the gathering and the wonderful documentation of the retreat through her new camera, Chef Michael Swamy and Mugdha Savkar for inspiring me with the passion they bring to food and photography, my family might just suffer from the results of some experiments I do in the kitchen now.

I went unknowing what lay before me. I returned a richer person, enriched with new friendships, with new perspectives. And yes, the announcement that we will now have a Kumaon Literary Festival next year, at the same venue, a decision that arose from the discussions and debates through the retreat, a discussion that spoke of the need to have a literary festival that was far removed from what literary festivals have now come to stand for. November 2015 is when the Kumaon Literary Festival will happen. More details on the Te Aroha page linked to at the end of this post.

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More pictures from the retreat right here in this facebook page link: https://www.facebook.com/tearohadhanachuli


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral is a writer and major social media influencer. After quitting her full-time journalist’s job when her son was born, Kiran became a mommy blogger on the internet, with a remarkably original voice. She was a journalist at The Asian Age, The Times of India, features editor Cosmopolitan, India Cultural Lead and Trend spotter at Gartner Iconoculture US, Senior Consultant at Vector Insights, Ideas Editor, SheThePeople.TV. Kiran is currently a celebrated author and an independent research and media consultant. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards for Literary Contribution in 2017. The Indian Council of UN Relations (ICUNR) supported by the Ministry of Women and Children, Govt of India, awarded her the International Women’s Day Award 2018 for excellence in the field of writing. In 2021 she was awarded the Womennovator 1000 Women of Asia award. In 2022, she was named amongst the 75 Iconic Indian women in STEAM by Red Dot Foundation and Beyond Black, in collaboration with the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India, and British High Commission, New Delhi. Her novella, Saving Maya, was long-listed for the 2018 Saboteur Award, supported by the Arts Council of England in the UK. Her novels 'The Face At the Window’ and ‘Missing, Presumed Dead were both long-listed for Jio MAMI Word to Screen, and ‘The Face at the Window’ was showcased at the South Asian Film Festival 2019. The Kitty Party Murder was shortlisted for the Popular Choice award at the 2021 JK Papers TOI AutHER awards. Her other books include The Reluctant Detective, Once Upon A Crush, All Aboard, Karmic Kids-The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You, A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up, True Love Stories, 13 Steps to Bloody Good Parenting, Raising Kids with Hope and Wonder in Times of a Pandemic and Climate Change, More Things in Heaven and Earth and Rising: 30 Women Who Changed India. She also has published short stories in various magazines, in acclaimed anthologies like Have A Safe Journey, Boo, The Best Asian Speculative Fiction 2018, Grandpa’s Tales, Magical Women and City of Screams. Kiran lives in Mumbai with her family. Social media handles Twitter: https://twitter.com/KiranManral Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kiranmanral/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KiranManralAuthorPage Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kiranmanral/
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5 Responses to A getaway in the hills

  1. Kiran Manral says:

    Reblogged this on Kiran Manral.


  2. Deepa says:

    So happy for you Kiran and thrilled you got to be part of such a fun group of people and fellow writers. May I add how beautiful and vibrant you all look in that picture:-) Must be all that mountain air bringing our your inner joie de vivre no?

    Am missing karmic kids like crazy since you made it private. Any chance I can continue to read Krish’s(the Supertar) life stories? I’ll do anything for you if you let me:-)


  3. Kiran Manral says:

    Ah Deepa, don’t blog at all about the boy anymore alas. But fikar not. There is a surprise coming soon.


  4. That’s a lovely post, Kiran and all the best:)


  5. Deepa says:

    ooooo..good, I love surprises and it ought to be a good one coming from you:-) Waiting…waiting…for the announcement.

    And why you no writing about Krish boy tell me? Did he protest or did you feel it was jus’ time to go private cuz he’s all growed up or something. We’ll miss his stories dearly though I tell ya.


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