It was not the first day of spring -- according to the revised Bangla calendar, but Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela still adorned the colours of the season yesterday. Visitors showed up in shades of yellow, and the fair took on a festive mood as evening fell.
Both Bangla Academy and Suhrawardy Udyan saw a large turnout of people as the day neared its end. Many visitors, dressed up for Pahela Falgun, claimed they did not know about any changes in the Bangal calendar.
Publishers passed a busy day with booming sales. "We are now waiting to welcome a large number of visitors tomorrow [today], on the occasions of Pahela Falgun and Valentine's Day," said Rezwan Habib Rafsan, a stall attendant of "Bhumi" at Suhrawardy Udyan.
Many visitors said they had been waiting near Faculty of Fine Arts in Dhaka University for the Boshonto Boron (Welcoming Spring) festival, planning to go towards the book fair afterwards.
"Since childhood, I knew that the first day of spring is celebrated on February 13, but today [yesterday] after reaching Charukola, I realised Pahela Falgun is tomorrow [today]," said a disappointed Saily Biswash Kotha (23).
Having started from home in a yellow saree, ready to celebrate the arrival of spring, Saily said, "Had Bangla Academy and other stakeholders carried out a wider campaign [about the change of date], we would be better informed."
However, her visit to the book fair was not in vain, as she bought Marzuk Russell's poetry book from the stall of "Bayanno". A stall attendant of this publication house said the lyricist's book saw a boom in sales yesterday.
Enthusiastic book lovers also passed a busy time, chit-chatting in front of some special corners, including Arjan Chattar -- featuring achievement of the country since 1971 on big cut out, Sangram -- featuring the history of the country's Liberation War, Lekhakh Bolchi -- featuring various
writers who talk about their new books and book unveiling Mancha.
MH Khan Munna, a student of economics at Dhaka University, was seen with five friends in bright panjabis at Sangram Corner. "We know it's not Pahela Falgun, but we wanted to celebrate anyway as tomorrow [today] might be too hectic," he said.
Bangla Academy's Research, Compilation, Dictionary and Encyclopaedia Department Director Mobarak Hossain said the ministry of public administration had issued a notice with regard to the revised Bangla calendar.
"Many media houses reported the change, people should have noticed that earlier," he added.