As the first-ever Drukyulโ€™s Literature Festival kicked-off, the first session to play was of Indian author Ashwin Sanghi.

Ashwin is a beloved writer in India and across the world. He has written many best sellers, and he was also included in a Forbes 100 list in India. But it wasnโ€™t just Ashwinโ€™s presence that made the session special. The inaugural session of the inaugural festival included, as a speaker, the Royal Patron of the festival, Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck.

Her Majesty is not just a patron of the arts, she is an accomplished writer herself. To local readers, her books read like an exposition of their own thoughts. Her books often make sense of the Bhutanese experience through historical and cultural context. Reading them makes one think, โ€œoh yes, this is what being a Bhutanese means.โ€ To foreign readers, her books have been guides to the country. These books have been placed on many a must-read-Bhutanese-books lists.

Somewhere in the session while Her Majesty the Queen Mother reflects about the works of Tarayana, Ashwin says, โ€œYour title โ€˜Queen Mother,โ€™ Your Majesty, is not just a title. It really applies to you. You are genuinely a mother in so many ways.โ€

Ashwin echoed the feeling of many Bhutanese, particularly artists and writers, who feel blessed to have the continued patronage of Her Majesty in their creative journeys. He expressed that he felt the compassion of Her Majesty during his visit in Bhutan in the words: โ€œThere is a gush of emotion that emerges towards you with whomever you speak to,โ€ adding, โ€˜this is reflective of amount of work you have doneโ€™.

In all of the session, Ashwin truly reflects the collective thoughts of the Bhutanese, the affection towards the work of the Royal Family, the compassion bestowed upon the Bhutanese people by the Royal Family.