Sadiqur Rahman Mithun reviews some of the anthologies and memoirs available at this year’s Ekushey Boi Mela
By Jyotiprakash Dutta
Price: BDT 500
In this book, Jyotiprakash Dutta artistically crafts a wide-range of dynamic plots for each story without ignoring any lives. He also reflects on various subjects in nature, sheds light on lives of individuals from different angles while also allowing readers to outline the characters as they see fit in their own minds.
Golpo Ponchashot is a collection of fifty short stories by Dutta, some of the stories written more than fifty years ago. Readers cannot say that the stories were written so many decades back as the sensitive storyteller poetically pens a series of only the gist of experiences he gathered during different periods. The characters are all ordinary folks, although the author manages to focus on the extraordinary traits of their lives.
Dutta had won the Bangla Academy award in 1971 for his work in short stories. In 2016, the government of Bangladesh awarded the reputed litterateur with the Ekushey Padak, one of the highest recognition for civilians in the country, for his remarkable contribution to Bangla literature.
Smritigadya: Bandhanhin Granthi
By Hasan Azizul Huq
Publisher: Ittadi Grantho Prokash
Price: BDT 300
Hasan Azizul Huq, a retired Rajshahi University teacher and an Ekushey Padak laureate, is among the legendary litterateurs in Bangla literature who is still contributing to the Bangla language. The seasoned writer has a powerful and magnificent skill to communicate with his readers through various topics which he carefully frames on a clear canvas.
A major part of Smritigadya: Bandhanhin Granthi includes the chirming childhood memoirs of the writer that will introduce the reader with the area where he was born and how he had grown up as a sensitive human being. In the book, Hasan compiles pieces of significant memories with his family members and neighbours, recollects his academic experience and his attachment with nature.
The book also contains some articles that Hasan wrote from 2007 and 2016 on contemporary issues including democracy, political hegemonies, trial of war collaborators, Shahbag mass uprising and the derailed cultural and education process.
by Sudhir Koiborta
Price: BDT 160
Swaptik is Sudhir’s first collection of stories that he has written in different magazines since the 80s till date. Containing seven short stories, the book is titled ‘Swaptik’ or battle of the night, as the author portrays people’s hardship and their failure to reign life’s unpredictability in the midst of ever changing social- economical conditions, political turmoil and crisis in cultural interactions within an emerging urban city.
Sudhir as a journalist by profession developed the stories while keeping the plots very simple. He writes about an urban immigrant couple fleeing social barrier, an unidentified street beggar who has succumbed to hunger and a depressed widower and his friend reminisces about a woman who has committed a suicide. The editing of the book could have been done better though.
Ekakee Tarar Desh Theke
By Ahmed Amin Abdullah
Publisher: Somoy Prakashan
Price: BDT 200
Ekakee Tarar Desh Theke can be read as a diary of a UN peacekeeper from Bangladesh serving in the war-ravaged and impoverished country of Liberia. Despite cultural differences including language barrier, a decorated Navy official like Ahmed Amin Abdullah reveals the simplicity of the African nation and their invincible attitude to survive amidst hunger, diseases, economic disparity and shortage of resources.
The writer explores the beautiful natural landscapes of Liberia while feeling the pangs of staying so far away from his beloved motherland Bangladesh. A number of photographs portraying Liberian people, their lifestyle along with the natural landscape of the country is also available in the book.
By Anjan Majumdar
Publisher: Dyu Publication
Price: BDT 100
Sukumari is a collection of 44 poems by Anjan Majumdar, an independent agro-consultant. The poems are windows into the crisis-ridden personal and social lives of people that the poet experiences. Besides relating discourses on political issues, mass struggle and social dilemmas affecting personal lives, the poet upholds the glory of love, hope, humanity and patriotism.
The collection of poems is now available at Jatiya Shahitya Prakashoni in Amar Ekushey Book Fair.