February's a bittersweet
month for us Bangalees. While there's the whole Valentine's Day thing
around the 14th and the advent of spring right before that, the third
week sets off with a different tone; more sombre and with a hint of
restrained grief as we observe the National Mourning Day on February
21st. But despite the faint element of heartache in the air, February's
the month of this nation's pride, as every year, this month celebrates
one of the greatest aspects of our unique country: our literature.
The Ekushey Boi
Mela is now as much a part of our culture as the reason why this month
long event is held: to pay our tribute to the martyrs who gave up
their lives to preserve our lyrical tongue and to the indomitable
spirit of this country that may not be always there when we're fighting
amongst ourselves, but that shows up right on time when someone outside
our inner circle dares to threaten what's our very own.
On the Friday
afternoon that I finally made it to the Boi Mela, I was pleased to
see the composition of the crowd_ a lot of literature enthusiasts
included the young generation, from the age of twelve till the early
twenties. Good vibes of sharing the same passion for our rich Bengali
literature radiated from eager readers who strolled around the stalls,
checking out the works of various authors.
Amongst the many
stalls, Anyaprokash, a leading publisher had a high number of new
books launched at this year's Boi Mela. New novels included Humayun
Ahmed's "Lilaboti", Syed Shamsul Haq's "Ure Jai Maloti
Pori", Rabeya Khatun's "Shonkho Shokal Prokriti", Selina
Hossain's "Morger Neel Pakhi" and "Konar Onishchit
Jatra" by Sirajul Islam Chowdhury. Noted author, Muhammad Zafar
Iqbal's collection "Uponnash Shomogro I" has also been published
by Anyaprokash. Other novels included Imdadul Haq Milon's "Tumiy",
"Eka" and "Odbhut Ek Loker Shonge", Nasreen Jahan's
"Samanta", Rejanur Rahman's "Dehokabbo", popular
novelist, Pranab Bhatta's "Chadmukh Meye" and "Kajol
Kalo Chhokh", Sumanta Aslam's "Ekdin Jochhonabhanga Raate",
Arif Moinuddin's "Nibhrite Niloye" and Anwara Syed Haq's
"Karnishe Jhulonto Golap".
included Nurul Hossain Khan's "Bangla Hotat Onek Durey"
and Rashid Haider's "Muktijuddher Nirbachito Golpo". Zakaria
Shopon's science fiction "Neel Mosha" and couple of other
poem collections by noted poets like Shamsur Rahman, Mohadeb Shaha,
Nirmolendu Goon resided among the newly published list of books.
With all the speculation
on the death of writer Humayun Azad last year, this year's Boi Mela
had volumes devoted to him. Under Balaka publishing house, "Humyun
Azad er Shesh Shakkhatkar o Onnanno" written by Jamal Uddin and
edited by Sharifa Bulbul was one such book. Novels from this publisher
included "Ekdin Ebong Onekgulo Din" by Begum Mushtari Shafi,
"Neeltoya Jonaki" and "Goldfish o Ekti Projapoti"
by Chandan Chowdhury, Mahbub Azad's "Joyonti Jokhon Muktijoddhar
Bondhu". Rahman Henry's poetry in "Khunjhora Nodi"
and Dulal Abu Bakar's "A Cry From the Ruins" featured under
their new books of poems.
brought to the fair books with names that aroused the readers' interest.
Muhammad Zafar Iqbal's "Ami Topu" for the younger readers,
Anisul Haq's "Ekannoborti", Sumanta Aslam's "Tomai
Ami Dekhechhilam Boley", Mostafa Mamun's "Vice Principal
Sir", Zillur Rahman's "Paasher Barir Meyeti" and "Shopner
Neel Rong", Aranya Anwar's "Keo Ekjon Prolap Bokhchhe",
Tonmoy Matin's "Keo Kachher Noy", Dhrubo Esh's "Taan",
Hasan Imam Khondokar's "Varsity-r Corridor-e" were to name
another big publishing house had Mustafa Mazid's "Rupkothar Nayok"
and "Jibon Theke" for children, a couple of translated works
of Hemingway, Jack London, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, poetry collections
of Rudro Muhammad Shahidullah, Selina Hossain's "Diner Raashite
Ashchorjo Gitthu", Shawkat Ali's "Sthayi Thikhana",
Masuda Bhatti's "Nodi Ekhono Neel" among its many new publications
a well-known publisher, launched Mini Shamsun Nahar's book of poems,
"Jodi Bhalobasha Naii Thake", J. K. Rowling's "Harry
Potter and the Prison Of Azkaban", translated by Muniruzzaman,
Akimun Rahman's "Jiboner Roudre Urechhilo Koyekti Dhulikona"
and "Paashe Shudhu Chhaya Chhilo", Purobi Boshu's "Jochhona
Koreche Aari", Milan Farabi's "Jolmeyeti Bollo, Shomudre
Jai", Majul Hasan's "Chiler Danai Ektu Jirou".
Prokhashona published Syed Rokon Uddin's "Angti", Jajabor
Piyal's "Pothe Jete Jete" and "Ridoyer Deyal",
Rafiqul Haq's collection for children.
brought out a number of books discussing politics; both past and present
and the following novels: "Jonaki Joley" by Kazi Siraj,
Imdadul Haq Milon's "Meyetir Kono Oporadh Chhilo Na" and
"Fuler Bagane Shaap" among others.
For lovers of
poetry, this year's Boi Mela also brought out some great works from
poets, both renowned and new. Under Shoily Publishers came out Farida
Farhad's "Nodi O Nari, Nor o Bon", Pijush Jishu's "Tomar
Nibeete Onno Keo". Rhythm Prokashona Shongstha also brought out
poet Syed Shawkat Ali's "Chokhher Joley" and "Nikhoj
house, Shuborno produced Borhan Uddin Khan Jahangir's "Ashbabhin
publishers and books were only a few among the hundreds that played
very important roles in the Boi Mela. Drawing a huge crowd like every
year, this year's especially tight security may have been caused some
hassle for visitors_ as queues extended from the main entrance till
as far as Shahbagh.
However, in the
end, the experience of it was worth it as once again, the month long
fair served as a platform upholding and highlighting the works of
our talented literary circle.
SK. Enamul Haq