Panaji, Dec 8 : The scenic mountain town of Mussoorie in the Garhwal Himalayas came to life on day one of the 9th Goa Arts and Literature (GALF) on Friday.
Mussoorie based authors, Stephen Alter and Ganesh Saili almost made the audiences smell the mountain air, with their enchanting talk and discussions on day-one of the festival. According to Saili, Mussoorie has had such a long colonial past that, fresh stories seemed to emerge out of the woodwork almost every week.
“I was born and brought up in Mussoorie, yet so many facets of the town take me completely by surprise even today,” Saili, author and close associate of the other famous Mussoorie based author Ruskin Bond, said.
Referring to a tennis court which was unearthed in the town for the first time after the 1930s, Saili said, “It is not uncommon to bump into such situations in our town and this is perhaps the reason why so many writers and authors find Mussoorie attractive.”
Alter said the mountains around Mussoorie provided him with the gist for most of his stories. The author, who is working on the natural history of the Himalayas for his next book titled, ‘Wild Himalayas’, admitted that his love for walking and trekking alone provided him with topics and inspiration for his stories. “Mussoorie is a town which is glacier-full of stories,” Alter said.
Saili recounted some interesting tales from the life of the infamous, ‘Pahadi Wilson’, an Englishman settler in the Garhwal region who became infamous for clearing miles of forests in the Bhagirathi valley.
“Wilson used to mint his own currency and two of these ‘Pahadi Wilson’ coins form a part of my collection,” Saili said. According to Alter, Wilson’s acts of deforestation actually made the British sit up and think of serious forest conservation. (UNI)