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Sunday, January 30, 2005

love in kolkata boi mela 2005

The weather played spoilsport in Kolkata Boi Mela 2005 on Friday and Saturday. The weekend, for which the Kolkattans were so eagerly waiting for, passed into oblivion without registering anything worthwhile, leaving book lovers disappointed, to say the least. They were denied their pounds of unlimited enjoyment. The sudden unseasonal showers caught the organizers unawares. In the midst of happiness suddenly there descended chaos, people ran for cover in the shelters of the temporary book stalls getting drenched to the skin. To add to the mayhem, the electric supply had to be disconnected because, the cables had been exposed due to the sudden and heavy torrential downpour.

But – the organizers maintained their cool.

A Seminar programmed to be held, in which leading littérateurs of Bengal and France were scheduled to speak, was held – albeit in candle light. Hand it to Kolkattans to never get unnerved.

The Seminar was held in the ‘Desh’ pavilion – ‘Desh’ and the woman’s wing of FICCI had arranged for the seminar. Speakers included Sunil Gangopadhaya, Dominic Fernandez, Joy Goswami, Daniel Pennac and Tilottama Majumdar among others. The subject was – ‘the changes in the concept of love and their reflections on literature’. There was constant interaction between the participants and the audience in which the translators played a vital role. The 76 year old French novelist Dominic Fernandez agreed that the meaning of ‘love’ has changed dramatically in the last 30 years. ‘Love’ today means not just a close bond between a man and a woman but also a bond between two persons of the same sex. Sunil Gangopadhaya commented that the meaning of ‘love’ is changing in India also but here there is still some conservativeness. Joy Goswami said that women today have become much bolder while penning down ‘love’ related poetry. Tilottama Majumdar, a representative of modern day writer said that in today’s world, ‘love’ does not necessarily mean two bodies coming together but something beyond that. Today, love is a bond of mutual trust, interdependence and a search for shelter. To the new generation, friendship has taken on a different meaning.

(to be continued….)

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