An afternoon with Ajay Jugran at Valley of Words  event

Pic Courtesy: Shivang Yadav
Poet Col Amardeeep Singh in conversation with Ajay Jugran

Dateline Dehradun: The first event of the 8th edition of VoW|Shabdavali took place on the 7th of January, 2024, at the Valley of Words (VoW Cafe). This literary soiree lived up to its promise to unravel the verses of Ajay Jugran. A seasoned lawyer and a poet at heart, Jugran has recently unveiled his poetic masterpiece, “Antrang Satrang.” This collection, a collection of seventy poems is a profound exploration of the poet’s innermost emotions, intricately woven into the fabric of life.

The poems in “Antrang Satrang” are a tapestry of experiences, divided into seven sections that serve as windows into different phases of the poet’s life. From the innocence of childhood to the complexities of love, from familial bonds to reflections on the larger spectrum of humanity, Jugran’s verses resonate with a universal appeal.

The distinctive feature of Jugran’s poetry lies in its colloquial expressions, providing readers with an authentic glimpse into the author’s environment. “Antrang Satrang,” translating to “Internal Spectrum,” not only symbolizes the poet’s deep connection with the common man but also signifies the diversity of life portrayed in various forms.

Pic Courtesy: Shivang Yadav

Discussing Ajay’s poetry was his childhood friend, poet-author Colonel Amardeep Singh (AD) who has had a distinguished career in the Indian Army. A1993 batch Infantry Officer, he joined the National Defence Academy in July 1989 and the Indian Military Academy in Jun 1992.

A speaker and motivator, AD, as he is fondly called,  has conducted seminars on varied subjects for Civil Servants, Police Officers and Media.  A prolific writer Col Amardeep Singh has penned down four poetry collections: Khud say Mulakat, Anjane shahar maine, Indradhanush si who and Meri umra ki mahilaye including a novel Musafirnama. AD has been a regular contributor to the professional journals of the Armed Forces. He writes a regular column for a weekly paper which has also been compiled in the form of a book. He has been awarded Army Commander’s Scholar Warrior Badge for his research paper in 2017.

“Antrang Satrang,” penned during the pandemic has its introduction by Bollywood film writer Akshat Ghildial, adding another layer of depth to the collection. Notably, a few of Jugran’s poems have been brought to life by the voice artist and film actor Atul Vishnoi, creating a unique synergy between literature and performance. Ajay further elaborated on the art of poetry in vernacular languages as he himself has dipped his pen into Hindi and Garhwali.

Ajay discussed how, “The poems, set in the backdrop of Dehradun and the Garhwal hills, carry the fragrance of Uttarakhand’s culture, flora, and fauna.” He further added, “illustrations by local artists, such as Dr. Sanjay Saxena, Sanjay Nainwal, Maushmi Ghosh, Jahanvi Kala, Mishika Kala, Shobha Uniyal, and Anju Dhaundiyal, further enrich the visual experience of the collection.”

The audience dived into the core of the book as the conversation took wings. The poet and the moderator brought personal experiences, reflecting broader themes of humanity, compassion for animals, environmental concerns, and patriotism into the open. The poet also recited some of his favourite poems such as  “Micchami Dukdam,’ ‘Chandi chacha ki malish’ and Maa ka haal’ to name a few.

In addition to “Antrang Satrang,” Ajay Jugran’s literary repertoire extends to “The Bridge on the River Song and Other Stories (2023),” a collection of twenty-three short stories linked to the state of Uttarakhand.

The event at VoW Cafe was an opportunity to immerse oneself in the colors of life through the lens of a poet shown by a poet who effortlessly wove words into a tapestry of emotions and experiences leaving everyone asking for more.