The Final Curtain Call
The Ekushey Granthamela finally comes to an end. The contribution made by the writers this year was enormous and along with the established ones, lots of young and new writers paved their way into the scene of books.
Opala Haider has two books out at the Ekushey Granthamela this year. Ajena Opekha from Bashachitro publications and Aritro from Borshadupur. Opala talks about the unique theme that she chose for Ajena Opekha where an expecting mother converses with her unborn child. As she imagines a future with her yet to be born child, she has flashbacks of her past and moves back to her own childhood. Aritro is about a young man whose fiancé suddenly dies. The story basically revolves around what happens after the young man gets over his pain and decides to move on in life. “While writing Ajena Opekha, I was greatly inspired by all the new babies being born in my family!” says Opala. Inspired also by her family members to write and experiment with her thoughts and self-expressions, this year, the Boi Mela has brought out Opala's fourth and fifth books.
Mahmudur Rahman Razu's first ever book, Nacher Putul, a Borshadupur Publication is a romantic novel, influenced by the current socio-political and socio-economic transitions occurring in Bangladesh. “My story also reflects on the current behaviour trends of young people,” says Razu. “The characters in my book, the four students from Dhaka University, portray those trends in this book.” Razu says that the stories connected to each of the characters are not dramaic as such, but simple and heart-warming. “I spent some time thinking and analysing human behavioural that I see around me,” says Razu. “I also spent a lot of time talking to my friends and acquaintances so that I could be clear on my theories. And then I started to write a novel based on the ideas and theories that I came up with.”Nacher Putul is Razu's first novel, however, he has had plenty of experience in writing and publication as well. For instance, in 2008, Razu, along with a few friends published a set of poems in the form of a book.
Anik Khan, the Executive Editor of the monthly satire magazine, Unmad, and the Head of Content and Planning of a new Household Magazine Tobuo, is famous amongst the young people for his poems, popularly known as SMS Kabbo. Also Producer and Radio Jockey of Radio Foorti, he has gained immense popularity with his midnight show with the young readers. This year, his book, Bikroyer Jonno Nohe - *Shorto Projojjo (Not For Sale *Conditions Apply), showcases a compilation of all his poems that have been published in different weeklies and monthlies in the country. However, what may astound the readers slightly is the fact that most poems published in the book are the original or the unedited versions, which were otherwise cut and resized before being published in the weeklies and the monthlies. Through some of his poems, Khan talks about everything becoming a commodity in the country, including the sense of freedom, patriotism, and nationalism, not to mention unconditional love and to an extent, humanity. “Even though the poems in the books are for sale, the poet himself is not!” he quips. “Which is why I call my book Not For Sale.”
A journalist by profession, Mizanur Rahman Mithun has two books out at the fair this year. Even though he has been involved with writing for quite some time, Je Bhuthta Boi Porte Eshechilo from Eti Prokashon and Russel Tumi Phire Esho from Bangabondhu Prokashona Shongstha are his first publications. “Je Bhuthta Boi Porte Eshechilo is basically for teenagers,” says Mithun. “Russel Tumi Phire Esho is a set of essays that were written by different writers in different publications. I edited and compiled the book. This book has also been compiled and written in a way to which teenagers will be able to relate very well.”
Right before the final curtain calls, this is the last weekend when the book fair will be opened especially for children and their parents at 11 am in the morning. Quite a number of publishing houses have become popular thanks to their children's books. Even amidst the ever-growing technology and digitalisation of the country, one hopes that reading a book does not go out of practice, especially amongst children.
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