Kolkata: The bibliophiles are excited and are doing last-minute planning on the stalls to visit or the books to buy. And they are not just stopping on just books. Well, reading or collecting books may be a hobby but it not complete without some gastronomical delights serving as vitamin.
One of the highlight of this year’s Kolkata Book Fair is Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee completed a century of books to her credit as an author. The year she launched 13 of her books for her fans and readers in general, six in Bengali, Six in English and one in Urdu, making her authored books touch the 101 figure. Considering the busy schedule she has as a chief minister of a state and leader of Trinamool Congress party, she must be lauded for taking her time out and wording these books. The books have a collection of poems and essays and even her lectures in the assembly. What is interesting for the readers is her compilation on NRC, CAA and NPR, subjects which are talk of the country right now.
The list of the books in Bengali are Poshchim Bongo Bidhanshabhaye Nirbachito Boktitamala, Kobitabitan, Himmat, Lohpronam Choraye Choraye, Manusher Pokkhe Unnayaner Lokkhe and Nagorik, while the English ones are Poems for You, A brief Introduction of Bengal Heritage, Bengal Can, Why we are saying no to NRC, CAA and NPR, Bloom and A world Without Water.
Seven of the CM’s books were published last year at the book fair.
“Many of Didi’d fans and also bibliophiles look forward to this time of the year, when they get to see new books from their favourite leader’s stable. And Mamata too, takes immense pride in compiling these books, which she had been doing over many years now. This, is in addition to the many biographies, written on her and on her political journey. Her ‘Bipanna Bharat’, ‘Ami’, ‘Shishudola’ and ‘Namanjali Samagra’ were sold like hot cakes last year,” said spokesperson of Dey’s Publishing. Her ‘Myself’, containing English translations of her recent poems, also sold well last year.
“Nagorik is a compilation of 59 poems which Didi wrote for all the protests and sit-ins at various places on CAA and NRC,” said Apu.
She has brought out the books in active association from Apu and Esha Chatterjee. Talking about the books, Apu, owner of Dey’s Publishing, said he along with his team had worked overtime to compile the books for the release at the International Kolkata Book Fair. The time it took to complete the books is 12-13 days.
Talking on the experience of working on the project, Apu said, “There comes a time in life when you know that you can take up the challenge (of working in such short notice). It was a test for me to take up the challenge. I have enjoyed the experience all the while. She (Mamata) goes through all the details before she finalizes anything, right from doing the cover, the name, everything had to be done in advance and then brought up to her which she okays or suggests changes. Didi is very particular about the details and knows the content is. Definitely in future we will work on other projects but when and how it will happen, let’s see.”
About a working relation with the CM, Apu said the journey was started by his father and now it is he who is helming the affairs.
Esha, CEO of Bee Books, too has good things to share about her experience of bringing out these books. She said, “Every year, we keep bringing one or two books, but this is first time that we brought out six books, with in a span of two months. She usually does not interacts directly with us but when she does, she is very much grounded, approachable. She has very good inter-personal relations with people around her. She gives a touch of affection, which is palpable through her body language. Other politicians maintain a distance but not her. She can make you feel very comfortable in her presence. I’m very grateful that I got this opportunity of working with her.”