‘Pahaadi-The Storyteller’ is an anthology curated by Sanjeev Kotnala of Intradia World, was launched in an online event on 9th November 2021- the Uttarakhand day. The book is a culmination of the Short Story writing competition for writers with roots in Uttarakhand. It aims at finding and encouraging talent in Uttarakhand.
Anthology curation is not new to Sanjeev Kotnala; earlier, he has two anthologies on life impact stories. ‘Life reloaded’; life impact stories by professionals across the different fields. And ‘Reflections’; again, life impact stories by the 1987 batch of IIIM Ahmedabad. Earlier Sanjeev has also published ‘Chimera of Lansdowne’, a novel with a hint of paranormal, based at Lansdowne- Uttarakhand. He is currently working on his next book- a romantic story, ‘Enchanting Neeli’ to be released in 2022.
Pahaadi-The Storyteller’ showcases 17 short stories (Fiction) by 15 writers. The stories revolve around happening, culture and life in and around Uttarakhand. The contest and the book are in memory and tribute to Sanjeev Kotnala’s father, Late Shri Ram Ballabh Kotnala, and his love for Uttarakhand.
The first year of the contest PAHAADI, saw more than 58 stories by 35 writers. The youngest writer is 6-year-old, and the oldest is 92 years of age. The entries came from different parts of the country, including Dehradun, Haldwani, Delhi, Mumbai, Kota, Bagheshwar, Nanital, New Jersy and Singapore. It was primarily promoted on social media platforms and amplified with word of mouth buzz.
At least three jury panel members evaluated and scored every story. The panel itself is of people with roots or high interest in Uttarakhand.
The jury panel. Aditya Amar, President of One Conscious Society, working on Women Empowerment in the Kumaon region. Prof Alok Saklani of Swami Rama Himalaya University. Apurva Kala; Author of many books including ‘Love… Life… Kumbh’ and ‘Alchemist of East’, to name a few. Bienu Verma Vaghela; poet and blogger and author of ‘Life An Existential Cocktail’. Prof Dwarika Prasad Uniyal; Pro-VC. Rahul Kotiyal; winner of Ram Nath Goenka Award and Red Ink award. Tanya Kotnala, a well-known designer and promotor of Bhuli Design and Sanjeev Kotnala.
The selected writers featured in the book get a Goody bag from Bhuli Studio and one copy. The top three stories – by Sagar Patwal, Manoj Phondani and Vartika Baral win 3N4D stay for two at Cottage Nirvana -Mukhteshwar, a wellness spa and resort.
The winning stories feature in ‘Pahaadi -The Storytellers’ published with Penman publishing. The book is available on Amazon and Flipkart. Further details of Pahaadi at www.sanjeevkotnala.com/Pahaadi/ and of the contest for 2022 at www.sanjeevkotnala.com/pahaadi-2