Monday, September 17, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Chetan, you've written the excellent book. Look, I am very skeptical about fictions. Many a times, fiction of emerging writers I choose to read doesn't allow me to flip more than few initial pages and I simply throw it off. But the case of 'Five Point Someone' became unique. When my daughter finished reading the book she brought from her school library, I gave cursory look at it and thought it to be the over the counter so called best seller. But I suddenly remembered what someone had told me - the hit movie Three Idiots is adaptation of the book. I had appreciated film. I decided to read first page. The first page lead to the second, second to the third and ultimately in one sitting the last one.
Chetan, I know I had dreams about IIT. Back then when I was higher secondary student in St Joseph's college Darjeeling, I along with friends, most of the time talked about IIT. We had seen IIT books much thicker than our textbooks. And to admit frankly there were very few in Darjeeling who actually dared to go for IIT and got admitted. Whoever did they hand ranks far below to choose the subject of their interest. But still, we dreamt. Above all who's stopped somebody from dreaming?
And Chetan what we didn't do? We bunked classes for the sake of IIT. We were a group of trio carrying bagful of books we ever read, visited library and asked for the books we never read, and treaded along the beautiful walkways surrounding nearby zoological park discussing about when to start serious study. We talked about the toughness of the course, talked about the type of questions asked, talked about exam centers and more interestingly talked about which course to choose. Believe me Chetan, I hated metallurgy then. It's because son of mathematics teacher was selected in IIT and had taken metallurgy. Rumors said his rank was far below than what he expected. Rumors also said that the metallurgy department was dumping site. I hope you got my point, man.
Just like your Kumaon hostel, we had Xavier hostel in Darjeeling. One of my Bengali friends with surname Ghosh occupied a hostel room on the third floor. We trio often visited him. He had all four walls of his room pasted with the nude pictures of Madonna. (We didn't have Sunny Leon then). And book racks full with the books of IIT. When we were together with him he used to laugh merrily and tell that Madonna is his dream girl just as IIT is his dream study. He lived in his own world. Unfortunately his room was raided one day and he was driven out from the hostel. Remember Disco?
I lived my youth again with my dreams through your book. Every moment I felt as if I am in the IIT, I am doing the projects, mugging up materials, doing assignments. I liked paranthas as your characters liked and our tri team visited Bene's Cafe in bazar for delicious parathas. I didn't know that a book can be so thrilling and full of life.
Although F in IIT, I could make myself a good teacher(People say). F in IIT entrance led to bachelors' degree in science. Thus earning a decent B.Sc. gave me the job of teacher. The life taught many things - to cope with hardships, deal with difficult people, live through insurgency, take the risks and ultimately to write stories.
Yes, I write stories in my native language. Your book 'Five Point Someone' has given me immense energy and enthusiasm to write, write and write.
Thank You Chetan for writing excellent book.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I was being bored by sultriness of the ordinary summer evening last year. Suddenly my cellphone beeped. It was Bhusan Dai other side. A happy and eccentric voice echoed in my ear - "Bhai, I am ecstatic today because of you. Thanks a million. My son read online the poem of mine that you rendered to Hindi and called me minute before. Thanks again."
"Its matter of pride for me Dai, to translate your poems. All I want is your blessing, that's all." I replied with all the gratefulness in my heart. Bhusan Dai's enthusiasm was obvious in his tone. Then I remembered the difficulty I encountered while rendering his poems into Hindi. Local imagery, cultural characteristics and unique poetic structures put me in limbo while I worked on it. Then an idea sparkled in my mind. I took the help of foot-notes. They helped me in two ways: I could keep poetic music and rhythm somewhat intact and at the same time explain things better in foot-notes. Thus the poem 'Shanti ra Kavita' was made 'Shanti aur kavita' and was published in e-zine Hindi Sahityasarita.
Bhusan Dai was ever encouraging factor. He spoke with unbelievable zeal and support for the writers or would be writers he believed who can excel in art and literature. He had clear vision of what literature art and literature should appear and what aspirants should look for in modern times. He always condemned mediocrity in all walks of life, be it lifestyle, stage delivery or poetry recital.
His comments on my story recital in Bani Prakashan, Biratnagar of which he was chairman have been eye-opener for me. In chairman's speech to conclude the program he said, "Kumud bhai, your stories are nice. But what I feel is they are too nice to feel. I think, if a story doesn't shake your heart it shouldn't be worth reading. Intellectual element is good, but if you forget to put emotions in your words readers will reject your stories. So take care."
One of the member of Bani Prakasan tried to interject by asking the rationale of conducting the story recital program of unpublished author. Bhusan dai immediately defended me by counter questions on authenticity of his literary value. My heart filled with gratitude. Later, in teashop conversation he said - 'Look Kumud, I have expectations from you. You are young and can view the world as well as life in multitude of ways. Every experience can be turned into story. I want to see you as good story writer.' I have saved his words in my heart.
Bhusan Dai was chief guest at the launch program of book of short stories by Tejendra Sharma of London. I had translated twelve of his Hindi stories into Nepali and named the book 'Passport ka Rangharu.' Bhsuan Dai after giving best wishes to Mr. Sharma and to me said, 'For every five stories you translate, write one yourself Kumud. I would like to see your collection of short stories soon.' It was Bhusan Dai's wish which I could fulfill. Last winter when I handed him my debut collection of short stories 'Tyo Pahenlo Phool' he had wide smile on his face.
I admit Bhusan Dai was my was one of my mentor. He had considerable capacity to mend apprentice writers. Everyone, whoever knew him have benefited in one way or the other. We have lost him.
Bhusan Dai, I thank you for everything you did for me. Thank you for everything you did for us. You were icon of poets, artists, musicians and writers of all sorts. You'll forever rule our hearts. You'll always remain at the top. Thank You.