Sunday saw the launch of theatre artiste and author Bitan Chakraborty’s first work of fiction comprising seven short stories in Bengali, ‘Santiram-er Cha’. The book was released by noted author Sukanto Gangopadhyay and acclaimed author and journalist, Shirsho Bandopadhyay at a city bookstore.
One of the short stories of Bitan’s book, The Assassinator, has already been translated into English by Pranab Ghosh, journalist and writer.
The translated story has been published by Transcendent Zero Press from Houston, US. The collection of short stories has been published by Sambhabi the third eye imprint.
The story, which belongs to the genre of magic realism, focuses on the suffering of unemployed youth and also reflects their dreams. The setting of Bitan’s stories is interestingly, semi-urban or rural Bengal. While addressing the audience, Bitan said, “I am a political person and I believe everybody is political in the world. There is nothing called truly apolitical, I believe!”
In another story, Santiram is a commoner who sells tea from a small shanty stall but his life changes when a multi-national company offers to open a tea parlour for him. Santiram gives in but one day, when the company wants him to sell beer alongside his tea from the parlour, he goes back to the orginal tea stall.
Shirsho Bandopadhyay said, “There is a remarkable twist in Bitan’s stories. The author did not choose the fantasy route to please his readers. He has rather made them face the realistic world.”
Noted author and poet, Kiriti Sengupta said, “Although the characters and their movements are predictable, their journey is unique towards realisation of the self.”
Sengupta’s review of the book has been published in Bangla Tribune, a news portal. Chakraborty’s first work was a non-fictional one, Abhinetar Journal.
“This book will be revamped soon, within the next few months. Chakraborty will be doing another story book next year,” said publisher Bhaswati Sengupta.