On my coming back to Home town from Mumbai, this time, we had a local small literary meet. It was a group of just seven people, 5 men and 2 women—both housewife. None of us are high profile people, that such literary meet will reveal anything of epic nature/ deserve epic mention. I say this because people always look for stars, common people disappoints them. But common people’s opinion does ultimately matter, for, they are the real people on the ground, and represents the trend of society. Stars only have advertisement ie decorative value.
Issue here is a literary meet. Our meet was quite enjoying. One of the member in the meet, was Shri Haradhan Pal, retired from Navy, now lives by himself, all alone. His daughter, married, and lives away in America, and very unfortunately for him, lost his wife recently. He is giving all his time to writing. He has already published two books, one on poetry by him, and the other, his autobiography. The time he saves after writing, he visits his old village in Pandua, there he grooms tribal children in education and many other cultural activities. One of these tribal girls, now a class-VIII-pass writing poems, a few of her poems have been read in AIR programs. Credit goes to Sri Pal.
Our other participant, was Abhijeet Bannerjee, previously, a professor of Presidency college, Kolkata, in economics, now posted in Hooghly Mahassin college. Outside college hours he is a social worker, initiator of such literary, social and educational programs. There are other members—Jayanta Ghosh, myself, Mrs Tripti Sarkar, Mrs Lekha sengupta, the latter two are housewives. These two worthy women tend their poetic talent in between there items of work in the kitchen,and regularly, they pen a few lines to express their thoughts. Their poems tell us of the injustices done to women.
Our meet continued for two hours. In course of this, Sri Pal read his poems which was followed by listeners’ comments, views and analysis. Sri Pal is liberal in treating these guests with tea, sweets, and ice creams. No Bengali gathering ends without eating, and planning for the next feast……… Sri Abhijeet read his translation in Bengali, of Bertolt Brect’s drama Heretic’s court. The moral of the play, is the high character of a man who sticks to his values of life, even when he is under heavy stress knowing full well that he would be hanged to death, very next day. This play was not known to me, I am so much impressed that I shall collect the play to read and re-read, to get into the core of the play. If I did not attend the meet, I would not have known of it. Being worked up by it, I am trying to collect video plays of Brecht to watch. In this way all of the seven who attended, read poems/ and their write-ups, and other compositions. Our next meet will be next month, of course then I will be in Mumbai.
This sort of literary meets, induces people to learn further, and take part in cultural and social activities. This makes life of the self and others better. Mahatma Gandhi advised us to live as if you will die tomorrow, read as if you will live for ever. If I did not join the above literary get together I would not have got the impetus for reading. To build a responsible society, every individual has to have a sense of responsibility which can come from such continued exposure to enlightened literary activities.
This sort of meet teaches us a lot, not less than than what a book can do. It has a tremendous potential, myself is an example. My close friends usually praise me for my English language skill and literary knowledge—of course without elevating to the level of experts. But I was a student of chemistry ( science), did not read even a bit of literature those days. But I had very good friends who were students of literature, themselves. In the evenings when we would meet in an adda in BOAC play ground/ tea stalls, my friends would endlessly talk of literature and many intricate things of life, and I would have my riveted attention upon them, in a spellbound manner. Those knowledge so much penetrated my mind and influenced me that those thing I never forgotten in life—not only that, those later shaped my philosophy of life, and influenced my thinking and personality. I owe my friends so much who helped me to learn many things from their knowledgeable discussion, which otherwise I could not learn. They are no more with me, but what they gave me rests with me still today, and still reigning. Having a good friend is like a reading a good book…………………..younger people should note. I hope , I will attend many more literary meets, with the potential to improve the self, further and further. Our all literary giants regularly used to have adda, there they would interact a lot , which later would turn into material for writing. Our difference with the giants is that we have everything common with them, except their writing ability, had we had that ability we ourselves would become Shakespeare, Tagore, Prem chand etc etc,. Many will not accept my assertion but then it is only my feeling—accept it or not. Next such meet will be on 8.7.2018.