ParticipantsWhat’s a better way to enjoy your weekend afternoon than reading your favorite novel and sipping tea? Sharing your love for books with fellow book lovers! And that’s what a massive number of 80 students and Mentors or Karyakarta Palaks (KPs)  did on this year’s Maharashtra Day viz. 1sr May 2021. Given the ongoing pandemic situation and the new normal we all have adapted to, VSM celebrated this year’s first Vachak Gappa event virtually which included prize distribution of the essay competition conducted by our Library Team, reading of the winning essays, and sharing the reading experience of some books by our very own students and KPs.

As the name suggests, Vachak Gappa is an initiative started by VSM library team to encourage more and more students to read beyond their academics and cultivate the culture of reading within VSM. Students and KPs can voluntarily join these one-hour afternoon sessions and share what they are currently reading, recite their favorite proses, & recommend their favorite books to others.

CertificateThe compere of the day, Prathamesh Pawar our VSM student, kickstarted the session with Maharashtra song; followed by a brief address by Mr. Arun Pendharkar on behalf of the library team. And then came the most awaited part, the prize distribution ceremony of the Essay competition organized by Library team.  The subjects included 1) माझं पुस्तक परीक्षण, २) माझं जीवन शिक्षण and 3) माझे कोरोना काळातील अनुभव.  First prize was clinched  Kishori Kondhekar, with 2nd and consolation prizes going to  Ganesh Chavan and Prathamesh Pawar respectively. All three belonged to the Thane Branch of VSM. Along with these, Nagpur’s Trupti Darne, Thane’s Jyoti Davane & Nagpur’s Harish Sonawane earned a special mention by the judges for their essays. The winning essays were then recited by Mr. Sanjay Paradkar.

Book Review 1The book review of Dr Rajendra Bharud’s ‘Mi Ek Swapna Pahile’ written by Ganesh was indeed quite intriguing and must have placed this book on many attendees’ book-list. And as multifaceted as this book was Kishori’s essay on her experiences during COVID time. Commenting on right from cultural implications of this Pandemic to her personal development, it was a trip down the memory lane for all through Kishori’s lens.

Book Review 2In the second half of the session, students Sulakshana and Aakash shared book reviews of ‘Life Is What You Make It’ by Preeti Shenoy and ‘Ikigai’ by Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia respectively. Aakash took it a step ahead and also elaborated on how one should approach book reading as a novice. KPs Meera Bhagwat and Ujjwala Ranade talked about ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey and ‘Sanvaad Anuvaad’ by Dr Uma Kulkarni. Not stopping at just reviewing these books, KPs also added key insights gathered from their own life experiences, which was a bonus for the students.

The session ended with KP Jaya Soman thanking everyone who made it such great success in its first run and left everyone looking forward to the daily sessions even more eagerly.