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Thursday, February 03, 2005

first timers in boi mela

Once the decision was taken, the three of us along with some more interested friends picked a set of our best writings and started the ball rolling by data entry work. The setup that we had was located in the city proper and the place where we stayed was approximately 20 Kms. away. So, in the evenings, after finishing our regular work, we would make a beeline for doing the data entry work. We used to work up to 10 in the night. We were fortunate to have a person who had come from Kolkata looking for a suitable job. We roped him in to assist in the data entry work since he was already in that line. In due course of time, the basic work was complete. We sent the material for the first book to the press (photo offset press) and, took up work on the second one. Our intentions were to attend the Kolkata Book Fair with at least two books and the magazines. Accordingly, we applied for allotment of a Stall. Simultaneously, we arranged for finance from various sources and, one fine day, in January-1993, we landed in Howrah station with luggage comprising Books, Magazines, brochures and plenty of hopes.

The experience was something that is difficult to describe. The innumerable incidents that we faced during travel could be enough material for a full length novel! People gawked at us, some thought us to be weirdoes, the Police wanted to see what we were carrying in the boxes – to convince them we had to rely on monetary incentives. When we finally landed at Howrah Station, we were mobbed by the porters. Fortunately, we had some local friends waiting for us; therefore, we were spared more tortures.

When we arrived at the Fair grounds to take over our stall, the decorators, the electrician, the agent who supplied furniture all came over to size us up. The news that we were from Maharastra had already spread like wild fire and they were waiting for their pound of flesh. A tiny hundred square feet stall is all that we could afford – the smallest type. It was totally bare and the Publishers were supposed to cover and decorate it in whichever way it suits him. Therefore, our local contacts came into play. We discussed how best to put up a reasonably good show with the barest minimum of investments and, by the time the inauguration took place, we had arrived.

Our Stall number was ‘921’ – it appeared auspicious enough!

The amount of money and efforts that went into creating these temporary stalls that would be pulled down after ten days was mind boggling. There were people who undertook any type of work that would add to the attractions of the stalls. They were everywhere – ready to extend assistance, of course against suitable remuneration. Kolkata is a place where master craftsmen have perfected the art of replicating almost any important structure or landmark – in whichever part of the World it may exist. Their creations are what Bengali festivals are all about. The Boi Mela is no exception. The two storied building created for a leading Bank is in itself proof of what they are capable of.

Then there were the artists who could work wonders with thermocole sheets – designs, letterings: you name it, they produce it.

Each Publisher, also, had his own ideas – those who were in this business for years on end had an envious entourage of assistants. Those to whom this was a family business had the second generation and third generation products to learn and get acquainted with the basics.

We only watched and hoped that one day we could also afford such luxuries.

(to be contd ….)

4 Comments:

  • At 8:38 PM, Blogger paint2828 said…

    Hi prabir ghose,
    After searching page after page about work from home data entry I ran across your blog first timers in boi mela which caught my attention because, of the amount of valuable and informative information you have. Unfortunately this is not exactly what I was looking for, however I enjoyed reading all your information. Thanks for the reading.

     
  • At 11:58 AM, Blogger entdata said…

    Hello prabir ghose,
    I was doing some research and came across your first timers in boi mela blog. I'm not sure i found everything I needed exactly about data entry however I still found your information very useful so I thought I would say thanks for the info.

     
  • At 5:42 PM, Blogger Rod said…

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  • At 8:35 PM, Blogger Rod said…

    Nice Jobs at Home related blog prabir ghose. If you're looking for a way to earn extra $$$ working from home, here's a RISK FREE opportunity, with a 60-day money back guarantee. Just 30-minutes a day and a little typing on your computer, and you too could be making from $300-$1000 daily! Go to data entry for more info and to join! :)

     

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