Aficionados of novels spent a pleasant evening on Sunday at Baatighar, a modern book super store located at Jamal Khan Road in the port city. The occasion was an interaction with eminent writer Samaresh Majumder.
This was the maiden visit of Majumder, a famous novelist of both Bangladesh and West Bengal of India, to the port city. He had come at the invitation of Baatighar which organised the session.
The programme was titled “Amar Jibon, Amar Rachana (“My life, My works)” where the famous writer not only narrated the story of his life but also took on many questions from his readers and fans. Many crowded around Baatighar from the afternoon onwards to see the writer in person. The crowd spilled over into the streets.
Chittagong is the land of Master'da Surja Sen, the great anti-colonial hero, said Samaresh.
“I wanted to be a poet as I saw many beautiful girls were fans of poems written by Sunil Gangopadhyay and he was seen encircled by girls,” said Samaresh, adding, “I was envious of Sunil and tried to write poems but failed.”
“I started writing at the persuasion of my friends,” Samaresh said to a curious fan.
“I was a theatre activist. Failing at script writing for plays, I started writing stories. I earned Taka 15 after publishing my first story in a newspaper and I spent the money to treat my friends to coffee,” he said.
In an answer to a question from audience, he said, “I am no writer in comparison to Bibhutibhushan, Tarashankar and Samaresh Basu. All of them were the great writers. I have just acted in the role of a writer and I think I am successful in my role.”
“Tremendous change has come about in women's empowerment between 1947 and 2014. Women are no longer confined to the household; they have come out from their houses. Seeing the revolution, I have a deep confidence that the country no longer lags behind,” he said in answer to a question why he is not creating more characters like Joyeeta and Dipaboli.
“Everyday I think, I will not write any more. I will spend my life reading and chitchatting with friends,” he said in answer to the question of his retirement from writing, adding, “However, my well-wishers come to me everyday and request me for write-ups and I cannot help writing for them.”
“Although I have come to Chittagong for the first time, I imagine Chittagong whenever I think about Master'da,” he said, adding, “I feel happy to imagine that the people of Chittagong grow up on the soil where Master'da Surja Sen, Preetilata and their compatriots walked on.”
“The older you grow, the more you become alone. Loneliness is golden and I feel like being lonely,” he said.
Poet and writer Biswajit Chowdhury conducted the programme while poet and journalist Abul Momen spoke among others.
Dipankar Das, director of Baatighar, said the organisation aims to regularly promote an interaction between writers and readers.
“Many eminent writers and poets from home and abroad have visited Baatighar and interacted with readers. Among them are Syed Shamsul Haque, Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed, Nirmalendu Goon, Helal Hafiz, Dr. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, Nasrin Jahan, Vikram Seth, Gautam Bhadra and Subodh Sarkar,” said Das.