destination india

Saturday, September 11, 2004

creating writers

I never knew that I had it in me.
When my first story (‘the mortal combat’) was published in the Sunday Statesman in 1958 and when I received an honorarium for it, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that some day I would really be enjoining literary pursuits. Even when my second story (‘The second attempt’) saw the light of day in a Sunday edition of the Times of India in 1962 and a second honorarium came knocking at my door, I never expected to take up the pen to write in Bengali!
I was studying in an English medium school and, even though I was a Bengali, I learnt the Bengali alphabets only in the final years of my school. That posed a serious problem because, after school, I had to go to a College which came under the purview of the Calcutta University. And, there, Bengali was a compulsory language which a student had but had to pass. The pass marks were just 30 – and, how I struggled to score those few marks still makes me blush whenever I think about it. However, all said and done, I finished my college and moved into the Engineering branch. Then followed an employment of sorts. Somehow, that first employment was not to my liking. So, I started looking for something more interesting. At that period of my life, I was picking up various types of experiences, meeting different types of persons, reading all types of books – mostly related to crime and its investigation. From Agatha Christie to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Ellery Queen or James Hadley Chase, Frederick Forsythe – I was absorbing knowledge from whatever source it came. Apart from that I loved to mingle with people from various strata of Society. Once, I gambled my month’s earnings away just to get the feeling of what it felt like to lose money! And, these found releases in my writings.
Yes, I broke the shackles and got my first Bengali short story published in 1969.
It was the day I was leaving Calcutta to come to Nasik. At the Howrah railway station, I was browsing through the books in the Wheeler bookstall when I picked up a magazine and was pleasantly surprised to find my story in the Contents.
That was the starting point.
Since that day, I have written more than 150 short stories, novelettes, poems and have also been the Editor of a Bengali magazine published from Nasik. It was possible because it was computer based. Yes, in order to prove the point that publishing in any language is possible, I along with a couple of my friends created history of sorts by publishing not just a magazine but also as many as four books. And, with these books, we participated in the prestigious Calcutta Book Fairs of 1993, 1994 and 1996. Subsequently, with more and more job responsibilities having to be shouldered, I had to take rest from writing of all sorts. Until, my son introduced me to ‘blogging’! A really fantastic pastime I must say. I have been at it for the past three months and, one of my blogs had crossed viewer ship of 425!! This particular set up indicates the number of viewers of the blog – which gives an indication of whether the direction you are progressing in is right or not.
My message to all those who wish to see their names in print is : be sincere in your efforts, do not copy others styles but develop your own and never lose heart. Writing may not pay but it does give satisfaction.


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