A Soulful Train Journey Honouring the Memory of Baba Bhalku  

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Baba Bhalku Smriti Srijan Rail Yatra

Baba Bhalku Smriti Srijan Rail Yatra Keekli Reporter, 18th August, 2018, Shimla              

The writers pledged to contribute towards the Kerala Relief Fund, a sum of one lakh will be collected and given to the Kerala CM.

Homage was paid to our late prime minister; contributions of Baba Bhalku were remembered!

A unique concept planned in the Shimla Book Cafe on Ridge, when few eminent literary minds decided that the memory of Baba Bhalku should be honoured as he was a source of inspiration to all, and it was because of his sole efforts that Shimla City has this amazing train track, which is now a UNESCO Heritage Rail Line.

The Baba Bhalku Smriti Srijan Rail Yatra began at sharp 9.30 a.m. in the morning on 19th August, 2018, from Shimla Railway Station, where 30 noted poets and writers from Shimla City and Mandi, gathered together to be a part of this historic literary event. This event was jointly organized by the Himalaya Literature, Culture and Environment Forum and Naval Prayas Shimla. After a quick briefing about the event, which was divided into different sessions as per the stations on this track, the event started by paying homage to our late former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. As a mark of respect, two-minutes silence was also observed.

Baba Bhalku Smriti Srijan Rail Yatra Thereafter, began a remarkable literary session, which included, poetry, gazals, stories and memoirs and was conducted with great skill and dexterity by Sumit Raj Vashisht. Each literati began his/her session by paying homage to our late prime minister and honoured the memory of Baba Bhalku. What began next was an incredible journey with poetry on themes like mother, fury of nature, friendship, relationships and love among others. This also included an informational talk by Vashisht about the history of this railway track and significant points that made each station important. The first session ended as the train halted at Barog Station around 1.45 p.m., and the poets and writers were warmly greeted by the Barog Railway Staff and locals. It was a heart-touching moment to receive such warmth and love from the people for the literary minds. After a brief halt at Barog Railway station and lunch, the literati boarded the train to head back to Shimla. The scene was the same, but this time we had story narrations and memoirs, which just enticed all present. The efforts of all were appreciated and lauded by all for their beautiful recitations. (See All Videos)

The participants of this historic event were — Sita Ram Sharma; Paumila Thakur; Priyamvada; Ashwini Kumar; Vandana Bhagra; Ritanjali Hastir; Kaushal Mungta; Kalpana Gangta; Uma Thakur; Rakesh Kumar Singh; Nirmala Chandel; Shanti Swaroop Sharma; Vidya Nidhi; Vandana Rana;  Gupteshwar Upadhyay; Dinesh Sharma; Anjali Dewan; Anurag Vijayvargeeya;  Meenakshi Faith Paul; Satish Rattan; Sudarshan Vashisht; Atma Ranjan; Dr. Hemraj Kaushik; Kul Rajiv Pant; Sumit Raj Vashisth; Dr. V. P. Gupta and S R Harnot.

The event would not have been possible without the help and full support of Station Master, Sanjay Gera; Divisional Railway Manager Ambala, Dinesh Chand Sharma; Ratan Singh Sirjhar; and Kul Rakesh Pant.

The travel ended on a very positive note as during the end of the journey a collective decision was made when the founder president of Naval Payas proposed that each member pays 2,000 rupees towards the relief fund and he would add the balance 40,000, to send a collective sum of rupees 1,00,000 (One Lakh) to the affected families in Kerala.

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