One evening while returning from office, at the 7-Days shopping center, as per my habit, I checked for new magazines. On the upper racks,there were the recent issues of India Today, Readers digest, and few mores magazines and the lower racks were still holding the old editions.
At the bottom most rack were diaries, notebooks and few more books. Within them, I saw a Bengali book in brown cover. I picked it up and flipped through the pages and kept it back. It was a 26 short stories book, priced at Rs. 75/-. At the moment, there was not enough reasons for me to buy a story book.
Days passed on. I used to get a glimpse of bookshelf as usual. The number of that particular book’s copies seemed decreasing. Inquisitive now I was ! And I again picked up the same book to check – who wrote it?, as the writer’s name was not well known. I thought to buy it, as the writer was some Mrs. Gargi Bhattacharya from Bangalore.
As the bookshelf is located at the main entrance, the book was getting dust over it along with diaries kept there. But the bright brown color of the cover and the painting was talking something to my instinct. I picked it up and wiped the dust out and read the preface.
I bought it that evening, and after dinner I started reading the stories. Having done my education in Hindi and English, the distance from Bengali literature makes my Bengali reading speed slow. The story writing technique caught my attention. It was story about a small bird and a famous female screen personality. The story ended with a message of need of indigenous methods and ill effects of using the pesticides. There are stories of love and tears and the complete saga of human emotions. One can just keep reading.
So did, I kept reading other stories. The way she picks the theme, and makes the scenario and at last brings her ‘message’ quite efficiently are really impressive. The sentences used are simple yet full of flow.
After few days of my reading, Ma arrived here. I let her read the book. She got something good to read at home, when I was in office. She read all the stories and was equally impressed by the stories. In evenings and back to home journey, I re-heard the stories from her. She just gets lost, while narrating the stories, after losing herself in the characters! It was easy to guess, how much she loved the stories.
I let Ma know, the writer is from Bangalore itself. She said to write her back congratulating on her debut story book.
After few days, I wrote Gargi back and she replied. And her reply again left an impression of earthiness and a humble appreciation of praise.
She told me about her one new book to be published. And I do hope, the new book will be a success again on the bookstalls and she will be a hit in Bengali literary circle.
Congrats to Gargi ! May God bless her pen and her supportive family !