Millennium Post

An idyllic reconstruct

'Sei sob fele asa din' is a nostalgic celebration of memories and experiences of Bengali life in the later half of the twentieth century

An idyllic reconstruct

Nostalgia is an erstwhile hard-nosed colonist who refuses a corner-space. It rather casts a king-size spell of its own. A hangover, rather. It has its own muse, musing and method. 'Sei sob fele asa din' is an anecdote celebrating memories and a sense of belonging to the idyllic life of mofussil where spirits were not dampened by monotones of life. An anthology of experiences of 60s, 70s and 80s, punctuated with cinema and cuisine, politics and parallel, adda and attire. The author's story-knead bears telltale impressions of rich journalistic experience.

The details are in the narrative thread. The decades were times of opinionated arguments, unfiltered adda and unadulterated glee. Those were the times when Bengalis were not in the blind pursuit of material pleasure. Those were the days of magical matinee, football frenzy and classical cuisine. Simple joys in simple living.

The author also charts personal and professional graph, alongside political upheavals. From turbulent Naxalism to historic Bangladesh Muktijuddho, from the dark chapter of Indo-China war to the stormy Emergency days. It is also an engrossing recount of his budding days in journalism, inception year in Bartaman and worthy encounters with persons of eminence.

Bengali's quintessential adda over tea and coffee books a chapter of its own. Adda is omnipresent— where intelligentsia hash over politics to playground, where poets rule and rue over words, where youths chat and chatter over nothings. The author also accounts an enviable list of adda-theques of legacy and lure.

While the Bengalis have moved to elegant fine-dine at posh restaurants, the author reminisces about the street-corner shops dishing out Radhaballavis & Alur Dom, potion in morning milk-tea as well as lost tongue and taste for authentic mochar ghonto, dumurer dalna and machar matha diye kochu sak. The sweetmeat shops also have evolved leaving behind the good-old lobongolotika and jibegoja. Those were the foods and those were the comfy Sundays with Doordarshan.

The book is succinct and well edited with an apt cover capturing the very essence of Bengaliyana in the author's writing quill and quintessence. Easy read, nostalgic and hopeful — Sei sob fele asa din evokes the very best days of Bengalis and their culture.

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