Delhi Literature Festival 2017: Dr. Blossom Kochhar reads her new book Aromatherapy – A Way of Life

Dr. Blossom Kochhar in conversation with Chief Editor Exhange4Media Anurag Batra and renowned author and film critic Aruna Vasudev hosted an engaging and interactive book reading session at the Delhi Literature Festival in New Delhi.


An icon, a clear visionary, way ahead of her time, Dr. Kochhar has authored a lot of books in the past and yet again, the diva of aromatherapy has come up with a new book to boot, “Aromatherapy- A Way Of Life”.


The event was attended by the who’s who of Delhi, readers and book lovers. Dr. Kochhar talked about her journey, how she was introduced to aromatherapy and how everyone can make Aromatherpay a part of their lives.


“The purpose of this book is to share my life and love for aromatherapy with my readers. It is amazing how aromatherapy can enhance the quality of our living in so many ways.” Dr. Kochhar said at the event.


In this book, Dr. Kochhar has elaborated many ways of using essential oils in our everyday life including our love life, family life, for children, for the elderly, in our homes, offices, in the food we eat, for skin care, body care, for various ailments and during phases of stress and depression. This book can be a ready referral to your everyday needs.


Young lovers will find this book exciting as she has also fleshed out a lot of concoctions for weddings and doled out invaluable tips on using essential oils recipes for love and romance through the various stages of courtship. It takes the readers through the journey of life including romance, wedding, travel, years when the romance has faded, pregnancy and after delivery.


Ready reckoner

The book is also a ready reckoner for those who want to incorporate aromatherapy in their life through a lot of everyday simple life hacks. Something, as regular as rinsing your mouth with water to which add a drop of clove essential oil is the best way to integrate aromatherapy in your life.

The book is published by Hay House Publishers India and is available at all leading book stores, Blossom Kochhar Aroma magic kiosks. The readers can also buy the book online at amazon.


JNU organises discussion on Maithili and Mithila

In continuance of the highly acclaimed tradition of debate and discussion in the university campus, JNU Mithila Manch (JMM) organised a talk on the topic of “Growth and Development of Maithili and Mithila and its contribution to the world”. it was held at Mahi-Mandavi hostel mess in the intervening night of November 20-21, 2015. The esteemed speakers included prof. Ramnath Jha, professor, special centre for sanskrit studies, JNU; Prof. Sushant Mishra, Associate professor, School of language, literature and cultural studies, JNU; Dr. Gautam Jha, Assistant professor, school of language, literature and cultural studies, JNU. The purpose of this talk was to introduce the rich intellectual, philosophical and cultural heritage of Mithila to the students of the JNU.


Initiating the discussion prof Ramnath Jha, a vedic scholar, traced the lineage of the dominant traditions of our ancient philosophy including nyaya, samkhya, mimansa and all to the soil of Mithila region. “The intellectual precursors of the basic traditions of famous ‘khada-darshana’ like yagnvalkya, gautam, vachaspati, mandan, pakshdar, kumaril bhatt and all were born in this pious region. How deeply rabindranath tagore was influenced with mahakavi vidyapati which also turned into debate that to where-Bengal or mithila-vidyapati belongs to.”

This debate, he argued, is settled now consensually that vidyapati was from mithila. While discussing contemporary influence of Maithil vedic philosophy he argued that almost all the global concerns like terrorism, environmentalism, feminism etc can be solved with the wisdom given by maithil vedic scholars. Shri Sushant Mihsra enlightened the audience with the interesting notion of existence of different cultural forms prevailing across the mithila region. He also mentioned that how subal tern discourse- which is still emerging in the world-was already flourishing in mithila region in the form of different folklores of Dina-Bhadari, Raja Salhesh, valour stories of Alha-Udal and many others. besides, he also put forth a detailed discussion on a highly advance form of feminist writing prevalent in local tradition of Madhushravani katha and many other forms of textual writings.

Dr Gautam Jha, the last speaker, added another flavour in the discussion by comparing the cultural landscape of Indonesia and mithila. He showed resemblance with many of the local folk traditions of mithila and that of the islands of Bali, Java, Sumatra and Borneo. He told that many of our grand mother or nani-maa stories have the same plot and the protagonists as their Indonesian counterparts have.

According to him, Ramayana and kathputli (puppet) dance is the most recurrent theme in both the cultural traditions. However, he expressed his concern with the declining trend of both this art forms in mithila region and India as well. The event was attended by 70-80 students who hailed from different states of India, though the majority was that of maithili speakers and sympathisers. The enthusiastic audiences kept asking relevant questions while willing speakers quenched their intellectual curiosity till midnight. Apart from this, the issue of how maithili language and culture should be promoted was also raised by concerned students. The participant students seemed contended with the responses once it was over.

The thanking note was given by Jay Chandra Akela, President, JNU Mithila Manch. He along with the speakers committed with resolve that such type of indispensable events should be organized with large scale and on regular intervals.

Ahvaz International Science Film Festival: Aruna Vasudev wins Life Time Achievement Award

The first Ahvaz International Science Film Festival conferred its first Life Time Achievement Award to Aruna Vasudev for her untiring efforts on promotion of Asian cinema through Network for Promotion of Asian (NETPAC) since 1990.


Aruna is a renowned figure among Iranian film industry insiders as well as film lovers in Iran, who is known as Mother of Asian Cinema. Aruna acted as the President of International Jury of Ahvaz Festival and her award, including Festival Trophy and a piece of gold necklace, made by internationally-known goldsmiths of Ahvaz, was handed over by international star of Iranian cinema, Simin (Fatemeh) Motamed Aria, at closing ceremony on February 27, 2015.


The first Ahvaz International Science Film Festival, organised by Shahid Chamran University, took place from February 22-27 in Khouzestan, south-west of Iran and the programme included more than 200 films from around the world at 15 movie theaters in city of Ahvaz. All the Festival Awards were named after Iranian ancient science and literature celebrities like ‘Rumi’, ‘Al-Razi’, ‘Al-Farabi’ and ‘Kharazmi’.

Aruna Vasudevis also the founder and Editor of Cinemaya, and of Cinefan Festival of Asian cinema, continues to be the President of NETPAC International as well as of NETPAC India and is the Director of The Inner Path Festival.

Book Review by Ramya Mishra: Runaway Children authored by S Hariharan

Runaway Children_Front Cover

“The story is delicately told by the author S. Hariharan and he has tactfully raised many questions, which we Indians conveniently brush under the carpet. He has questioned the wisdom of raising the kid’s with iron hand, without much thought given to their thinking pattern, emotions and what all trauma they face at different stages of their life”, says Ramya Mishra, writer, entrepreneur and working mom, while speaking about the book. She speaks about the other subtle nuances of the book and more to Jayashankar Menon. Excerpts:

Ramya Mishra

JM: Can you speak the impression you gathered about Hariharan’s Runway Children?

RM: Runaway Children is an autobiographical journey of Hariharan. He at one point of time in his life ran away from his home and returned as a much wiser person. He in his own delicate manner has tried to take us into the world of runaway children. The story is delicately told, and Hariharan has tactfully raised many questions, which we Indians conveniently brush under the carpet. He has questioned the wisdom of raising the kid’s with iron hand, without much thought given to their thinking pattern, emotions and what all trauma they face at different stages of their life.

JM: What is so striking point you have found in the book?

RM: I remember at a certain juncture in the story, the author was contemplating, that if someone had told him the ills of smoking in loving and gentle way, then probably he would have quit smoking.  This statement throws light on the fact that in child rearing every problem cannot be solved by shouting and raising the rod.

JM: Can you shed light on how the story progresses?

RM: The story is divided into eight parts, and traces his journey from beginning till final trip. The author, in his memoir has also highlighted the plight of runaway children. Many of them sleep on empty or half-filled stomach. Apart from that they do not have much hope in life and are regularly exploited and bullied.

JM: How do you sum up the memoir?

RM: The book is definitely one time read, with an easy flowing narrative. The story beautifully unfolds without those heavy sermons or unnecessary preaching’s. While reading the book, at certain point of time one feels like reaching out to the orphans and desolate kids. The narration ends on a positive note, where the author makes peace with his family. He not only finishes his higher studies, but also ends up running a successful BPO firm with a turnover of few crore. This highlights the fact that the human spirit can survive despite of all adversities.

LIC-Gateway LitFest to start in Mumbai on February 14, 2015

The LIC-Gateway LitFest will be inaugurated on February 14, 2015 at Sunken Garden, NCPA, Nariman Point, Mumbai at 10:30 AM. Prathibha Ray will welcome the gathering.

LIC-Gateway LitFest2

Veteran film maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan will deliver the keynote address. The festival will honour Jnanpith winner Pratibha Ray and veteran Gujarati writer Sitanshu Yashaschandra.

Eminent speakers at the event includes PP Balachandran, K Satchidanandan, Govind Nihalani, Bose Krishnamachari and Nandita Das. Also on the cards are the felicitation of Literature Quiz winners.

One nation, sole platform, 50 writers, 100 styles and nine languages. The LIC-LitFest is setting a new precedent. Mumbai will witness the confluence of a gamut of prolific writers from vivid India languages, discussing, debating, reviving and reinvigorating the vibrant regional literary streams that made India over the centuries. Bengali,Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya and Tamil will take the centre stage along with English and Hindi on the same venue.

Authors, film personalities, publishers, journalists, corporate leaders and book lovers will hobnob for two days. Budding writers will share the stage with Jnanpith awardees and Akademi award winners, setting the tone for intellectual discourses on literature.

Mohan Kakanadan, Executive Director, LIC-Gateway LitFest is presenting the first regional language literature festival in the country. Entry is free and will open from 10.00 AM to 7.00 PM on a first come first served basis. Around 50 great minds from different parts of India will deliberate on various issues pertaining to literature, art, theatre and cinema.

Vinod Doshi Theatre Festival to be held in Pune on February 23, 2015

The 7th Vinod Doshi Theatre Festival will kickstart on February 23, 2015 at the Balgandharva Rangmandir, Pune. The theatre lovers of Pune will get an excellent opportunity to see plays in different languages such as Hindi, Marathi, Rajasthani and English.

The four day event is organised by the Vinod and Saryu Doshi Foundation, which is a public charity trust, established in 2008 in order to celebrate Vinod Doshi’s love for theatre. The Trust also motivates aspiring talent in the visual as well as performing arts through fellowships, exhibitions and festivals.

Kasumal Sapno-1

On the itinerary is a romantic comedy, ‘Kausal Sapno’, a Rajasthani adaptation of William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and one-woman play, ‘C Sharp C Blunt’, acted by singer-actor MD Pallavi and directed by Sophia Steph from Germany, according to a media statement.

Kasumal Sapno-2

The Maharashtra Cultural Centre will present the Marathi play ‘Aparadhi Sugandha’.

Kaumudi- 1

Indian Ensemble and Riad Mahmood Education and Arts Foundation will present the Hindi play ‘Kaumudi’, directed by Abhishek Majumdar. Set in the late 1960s in Allahabad, the play explores the dynamics between an estranged father and son.

Kaumudi- 2

The closing play will be performed by Naseeruddin Shah, his wife Ratna Pathak and their daughter. The 120-minute play ‘Ismat Apa Ke Naam’ is directed by Naseeruddin Shah, with music by Vishal Bhardwaj and vocals by Rekha Bhardwaj and Sanjiv Abhyankar.

Schedule of plays:


Date Play Details
23/2/2015 Kasumal Sapno (An adaptation of Shakespear’s lay Midsummer Night Dream) Presented by: Ujagar Dramatic Association, Jaipur;

Language; Rajasthani/Hindi
Director: Ajeet Palawat


24/2/2015 C Sharp C Blunt Presented by: Flinntheatre, an Indian-German collaboration, Bengaluru; Language: English
Director: Sophia Stepf


25/2/2015 Aparadhi Sugandh Presented by :Maharashtra Cultural Centre, Pune;

Language: Marathi
Writer & Director: Kiran Yadnyopavit


26/2/2015 Kaumudi Presented by: Indian Ensemble & Riad Mahmood Education and Arts Foundation, Banglore

Language: Hindi

Director: Abhishek Majumdar

27/2/2015 Ismat Apa ki Naam Presented: Motley, Mumbai;

Language: Hindi

Director: Naseeruddin Shah


Book Review: Part-Time Devdaas by Rugved Mondkar

The novel, Part-Time Devdaas, authored by Rugved Mondkar portrays the painful break-up of Arjun Kulkarni, which not only takes away the love of his life, Hrida but also estrangement from his parents, buddies, a best friend, even the country.

Part Time Devdas

In India, when In India, when zaalim duniya separates a guy and a girl in love, they are called Heer and Ranjha. But when they themselves decide to separate, they are called Devdaas and Paro. Meet Arjun Kulkarni – a thirty-year-old film director, with actresses and janta equally fond of him and his work.

Rugved Mondkar


He has a house to himself, a fancy car and enough money to ensure a comfortable lifestyle, he has even had his share of love and flings. Sounds like a complete life, happy and content. Or doesn’t it?

What lies beneath a smiling face is a painful break-up, which not only took away the love of his life Hrida after seven long years, but also led to estrangement from his parents, buddies, a best friend, even the country. From full-time love, to part-time Devdaasgiri; from part-time guilt, to full-time redemption: life seems to come full circle when his sixteen-year-old neighbour Aditi comes in without knocking. Does he find a way back into love or is he destined to be a Part-Time Devdaas?

Rugved Mondkar is a civil engineer and has been cutting teeth into Film and TV Serial Production and Direction since the past nine years. He works full time as an Executive Producer with a leading media company in Mumbai, where he writes and directs socially relevant short films and TV shows.

An avid reader on various subjects, Rugved derives his passion for writing from his drive towards direction and playwright which surfaced right from the age of twelve when he wrote and directed a play. This stint continued to transpire into stage acting and direction, until he entered the world of Engineering.

Rugved has been a fervent storyteller and believes in spreading smiles. He intends to create a joyful engagement with readers and viewers through his books and scripts. In his debut novel Part-time Devdaas, Rugved pens down the different facets of relationships, right from budding love to break ups and the after break up twist and turns. Incorporating many of his real life experiences, Rugved aims at creating a relative pull amongst his readers. The multi-faceted personality is slated to make his feature film debut as writer and director by the end of 2015.