Frontlist | Authors turn sellers, students cashiers in CK-CL block book fair

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This Saraswati Puja, the Residents Forum hosted a book fair with a difference on their community hall premises

The CK-CL Block Residents Forum hosted a book fair with a difference on their community hall premises on Saraswati Puja. Manning the counters at the programme, titled Boier Adda, were the writers themselves.

Arna Seal, who was present with her published collection of lyrics titled Prithibir Chabi and other books, recited her Dekhechho ki takey oi neel nodir dhare, which is known as a popular sing by Subhomita, set to melodious tune by Joy Sarkar.

Tanmoy Chakraborty recited his poem Sreepanchami Valentine, which had been published in the magazine Unish Kuri on the day of Saraswati puja. The poem deals with nostalgic memories of this day.

The programme had started with the release of a book of poems by Onkar Banerjee, a local resident. “I am writing poetry since my school days and have published in different magazines. This is my first book,” he said.

The book release was followed by a story-telling session. Writer Dipanwita Roy read out Madhyarater Chhayamurti, a ghost story where the story concluded with the message that there is no existence of ghosts in reality and it is our mind that imagines an evil force.  Sangeeta Dasgupta  Roy read out her short story Abani Sir. Saikat Mukhopadhyay read from his short story Chiraduar.

Manjir Ghosh, who has been writing both in English and Bengali for 22 years, had taken a major initiative to organise the innovative book fair. “In such meets, readers can get access to writers and there can be free interaction. There are some authors who are writing well but not well-known. Such programmes will create opportunities for their exposure and growth. Another major aim of ours was the involvement of young generation learners in such activities which would enhance their interest for reading books, especially Bengali books,” he said.

Sangeeta Dasgupta Roy, who is writing short stories and poems for children since 2007, was very happy with the opportunity.  “When publishers organise a book fair, they stock books of various writers and amid the lot, our books get lost. But here the reader is getting acquainted both with me and my creation exclusively and there is scope for me to suggest him books according to his likings.

Popular lyricist Arna Seal, who is a sociologist by profession, had a different objective. “I am more interested in finding out what the local community is thinking about Bengali literature, because the love for the mother tongue is gradually on the wane faced with the onslaught of globalisation. Moreover amid the pandemic, the emotion of touch, feel and warmth of interaction is necessary for all of us to rejuvenate.”

Debojyoti Bhattacharjee, who had brought an array of novels, folktales and short stories, was present both as writer and publisher. “My books are mostly published by my own publishing unit Jaidhak, so I really appreciate such a venture,” he said.

Block resident Dilip Dutta’s research-oriented publication Saraswati: The Cradle of Ancient Civilisation, with a picture of goddess Saraswati on the cover, generated interest in several visitors.

While some of the poets recited their work, theatre personality and writer Sandeep Ghosh, who participated with his compilation of theatre and an encyclopaedia on theatre, conducted a quiz.

Residents of different blocks of Salt Lake attended the event. Mahua Basu Chowdhury, a teacher of a preschool, bought children’s books for her students from Dipanwita Roy and got it signed by the author.

BK Block resident Rishan Ghosh visited the fair with his parents and bought Mahidadur Antidote, a science fiction by Dipanwita Roy. “I was very excited when I heard that I could meet and talk to the writers directly,” said the Class VIII student.

Sangeeta Saha from CJ Block was delighted. “The Book Fair, which happens every winter at Central Park, has been postponed this year. The hankering for it was partially satisfied today on coming here. The writers asked about my choice and helped me select a book to buy,” said the lady who bought Birupakkha’s Ora Thake Andhakare.

Ujjaini Basu Mitra from KB Block usually purchases books online. “But here we had the opportunity to touch and feel and select books and speak to the authors,” she said.

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Source: Telegraph India

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