Friday, March 07, 2008

Kolkata Book Fair '08


Bengali's and book fair is almost a synonym.today i went back to my roots once again as not just the love for books but my roots took me back to the place that most Bengali's [not bongs], consider as their Mecca.


Book fair has lost the grandeur that it used to have almost a decade back.The book fair was started on a small scale in 1976 by the Calcutta Publishers' and Booksellers' Guild.It is the world's largest non-trade book fair, Asia's largest book fair and the most attended book fair in the world. It is the world's third largest annual conglomeration of books after the Frankfurt Fair and the London book fair .it was the first ever kind to be hosted in the south Asian subcontinent now Delhi takes the spotlight for being the host of an international book fair, even though Kolkata was its first pioneer. the reason why one calls the book fair is the very seat of 'Bangaliana' is because in its prime, the book fair used to be the platform where the publishers,the writers, the poets and the artists came together.likes of Sunil Gangopadhay and Satyajit Ray has graced such event. the youth are found huddled together strumming the guitar and sings songs. it is not just a seat for book lovers but the young lover birds unite too under the strong surveillance of the book worms.


The highlights of the book fair is :


  • All first editions of books which are released in the fair are housed in a special release gallery.

  • The Book Fair has been the annual show for Bengali little magazines since the inception of the fair. The little magazines are now housed in a special dedicated section in the fair.

  • From the 1990s, the Calcutta Book Fair also has a special section for budding artists, authors, poets and painters. It is called Montmartre after the Montmartre in Paris.

  • It typically has poetry recitals, and live face sketching for patrons by upcoming artists.
    The fair also has a special children's section starting from the 2000s.

  • Following the devastating fire of 1997, the food stalls have also shared a common enclave.

A a child i have been initiated to the book fair by my parents but with time, somehow the bond with the book fair had somewhat weakened with time.but i was once again introduced and got acquainted not just with the book fair, in my prime but also to my roots, by none other than Samik. it was he who made me recognize and was responsible for me, to love and take pride in my culture. being convent educated somehow i never really savoured the essence of being a Bengali,i was more of a Christian then, due to my upbringing but then under Samik's guidance i learned to identify with my very culture and not just that revel in my cultural heritage.Bengali's are not just about 'macher jhol' and 'rosogolla', there is a part of us that fails to be captured on screen or in writing.a Bengali has lesser known genius that of Sukumar Ray, the father of the Oscar winner Satyajit Ray, we have Purndas Baul and Gautam Chattopadhya the father of Bengali rock band,we have a PK Ben and the ever lasting East Bengal [the Bangal's from Dhaka] and the Mohan Bagan [Bengali's from kolkata] football match, the battle of the titans, of chingri and eilish. Samik initiated me to this and now i am a proud Bengali.

10 comments:

KAYLEE said...

nice post :)

KAYLEE said...

wanna talk soon?

di.di said...

i always loved books at great prices.. heheheh I'll die happy, man... when i was in mumbai... i went to Crosswords almost everyday... the book in India is slightly cheeper than in KL...

phoenix said...

@kaylee
do keep in touch we are worried for you

@di.di
is it?i wonder why you dont let others access your blog?would like to read yours someday:)

Abhishek Khanna said...

yay yay.. books..
mujhe bahut darr lagta hai bookfair jaane mein..
it seems all books will open their mouth n run towards me to bite me :(

phoenix said...

@abhi
hehehe aisa nahi hai yaar... you get other stuff and relevant information there..and there is scope of lads of entertainment there too :)

AVIANA said...

hey there.. :)

how are you?

a bookfair..well that's one place you won't find me...

i don't read much substance anymore...sad to say...

have a good weekend chicki... :)

phoenix said...

@aviana
hey wassup?

mayz said...

this is one thing i repent...even after stayin 2 yrs in jamshedpur neva got d chance to go to kol book fair...sad!!!

Bubbles of FireWhiskey said...

aaaaaaaaaa.... i miss the fair... n i miss home... i miss kolkata... i miss kc das... i miss everything...