e-Audio Dogri stories

OP Sharma
Title : Kahaani Suni Sanaayi
Writer, / Narrator… Jagmohann Sharma.
Available : ebook@ Amazon Kindle

During more than five decade long career in journalism, I have written over 100 book reviews and read thrice the number of books in Dogri and other languages. However for the first time in my life, I had an overwhelming experience of listening to an e-audio book, and that too in Dogri, the mother tongue of entire Duggar region.
The credit goes to Jagmohan Sharma who apart from being a Dogri News Reader cum Translator at the Regional News Unit, All India Radio Jammu, is a renowned broadcast journalist, stage anchor, commentator, columnist, and I can say a social activist also. While talking to him about his inspiration behind this endeavour to come up with an e-audio book in Dogri, especially for children, he divulges just how odd it feels when children prefer speaking English or Hindi to their mother language Dogri. At the same time he accepts there is no harm in learning or adapting other languages but ignoring your own mother tongue of course sets a bad precedent for us all. The passion behind this attempt of Jagmohann to tempt young Dogra community especially the children to read, listen, speak and understand their own Dogri and feel proud in doing so , can easily be gauged in the stories, and the way these are narrated in a simple but an interesting manner.
Good Attempt
As you click open the link with headphones on a mobile or laptop screen in front of you, it simply takes you to a totally different world of story-telling. The writer of the book , Jagmohann Sharma who himself is the narrator of this first ever audio book in Dogri, his sweet loving voice appears most appropriate for narrating the stories to the kids and the soft music in the background takes listeners/viewers to a new world of imagination. As an added bonus, the sub-titles of the story narration on the screen introduce you to the way of writing Dogri in Devnagri script. Selection of typical Dogri words in the stories is nice simple and unique in itself. The reader cum listener feels closely associated with the sweetness of the language and a sense of deep bonding with the mother tongue kicks in – it is as comfortable as a child cocoons in his or her mother’s lap. Some typical or forgotten words are worth mentioning like DUSKI-DUSKIYE RONA, TOLO, PEECHIYA, TOAKI, TARELI, REES, PANGA, RAIND -KHAIND, CHHINJ, GHASMUNN, BHAAGLI, etc and many more in store for the listener.
Released on “Dogri Maanta Diwas”, the Volume 1 of “Kahaani Suni Sanaayi” carries a total of seven very commonly heard stories by all of us and each one of them have some lessons for the children as well as all others. This book appears to be a first step towards modernisation of Dogri literature albeit a historic endeavour introducing a new turn towards reaching out to the youngsters.
Useful Reading
My firm opinion is that this audio book will prove to be a great way for children to be familiar with more and more typical words of Dogri language, build their literacy skills, improve upon the vocabulary and also the language retention and recall values. Some typical words used by the writer including the ones mentioned above take you very close to the basic feel of Dogri language. I sincerely hope others too will follow the foot- steps Jagmohann has initiated to make mother language Dogri scale new heights and be close to the heart of its admirers. No doubt a lot of written content may have been formulated in Dogri for children following the traditional ways. However adopting the new format of e-audio book, in my opinion, shall be far more effective in reaching to a larger audience in the present scenario where neither children nor the grown up in general feel comfortable holding hard copies of books and concentrate on the pages. Jagmohann’s e-audio book Kahaani Suni Sanaayi will definitely go a long way in forming an instant connect with Dogri even if he or she is walking, traveling, cooking or busy with any other daily chore.
I wish Jagmohann all the best and look forward to some more and meaningful content in the coming days.

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