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Printed words still a rage, say eminent Bengali authors

 MPost |  2015-10-12 01:05:40.0  |  Kolkata

Printed words still a rage, say eminent Bengali authors

“The craze for (printed) books can never diminish. Yes there are digital platforms like <g data-gr-id="46">wikipedia</g> and social network which can be used to reach out to the present generation to help the cause of books,” popular writer Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay said at ‘Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utsav’.

“Printed words and the new digital media <g data-gr-id="51">can in fact</g> complement each other,” he said, in answer to a question if the printed books were threatened by the advent of ever increasing <g data-gr-id="50">number</g> of e-books.

“Look around and you will yourself find the answer. Such literary meets help us to reach out to the people we write for,” said Mukhopadhyay, whose several books have been adapted for films over the years. He was surrounded by young readers for autographs after the first session of the one-day festival.

To another question, Mukhopadhyay said he mostly avoided watching films based on his books as he was stricken by the fear that his vision and thoughts may not be properly taken care of. “Cinema and literature are in fact two different mediums and I am happy to live in my own literary world and among my readers with whom I can communicate,” he said.

Eminent writer Samaresh Majumder echoed Mukhopadhyay and said he felt rejuvenated in the company of enthusiastic readers. “It is a myth that Bengali literature is on the wane.” 

Majumder, who usually weaves his stories in the sylvan landscape of <g data-gr-id="58">Dooars</g> and Jalpaiguri in north Bengal, emphasised on the change in dialect and expressions from one place to another and its reflection in literary works for the sake of authenticity. 

Asked about the influence of literature on Bengali films, Majumder said barring the works of Satyajit Ray, Tapan Sinha and Tarun Majumder, most other Bengali <g data-gr-id="67">film makers</g> have the tendency to tinker with the story for their script and make their own interpretations.

“For me, giving the film right to director is in most cases akin to marrying off of a daughter by a father who will have no control on her life and <g data-gr-id="66">well being</g> from then on,” said the author whose novel 'Kalbela', set in background of the Naxalite movement, had been adapted in film by Goutam Ghosh and 'Kaalpurush' as a TV soap.

Bani Basu, author of the famous novel ‘Astam <g data-gr-id="53">Garbho</g>’, however, struck a different note saying a generation had drifted away from reading. “You can’t blame <g data-gr-id="54">whatsapp</g> and SMS. This drifting had started 10 years ago.”

“The crowd at this literary meet and Calcutta Book Fair is a welcome sign. But we have to ponder whether we are reaching out to the new generation.” Swagat Sengupta, the director of the festival, being organised at the 96-year old heritage Oxford Book Store in collaboration with leading publishing house Patra Bharati Group said the event was organised as there was need for a platform to promote Bengali literature and show the English speaking young generation the rich literary works in language.

Calling the event a “worship of books”, he said it was a meeting point for writers and poets belonging to different generations who would interact with the readers and hear from them. Patra Bharati Managing Director Tridib Chatterjee said Kolkata, though the hub of Bengali literature, has never actually recognised its own regional literature in the true sense and there has been no prominent platform to showcase the works of its eminent authors and poets. Judging by the response to the festival, the organisers will decide if it can be made an annual affair, Sengupta said.

Sirshendu says
  • The craze for (printed) books can never diminish. <g data-gr-id="136">Yes</g> there are digital platforms like <g data-gr-id="79"><g data-gr-id="99">wikipedia</g></g> and social network which can be used to reach out to the present generation to help the cause of books.
  • Printed words and the new digital media <g data-gr-id="80">can in fact</g> complement each other.
  • Look around and you will yourself find the answer. Such literary meets help us to reach out to the people we write for.


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