I have been asked by Jyothi Menon to list my 10 favourite books which have shaped me as a human being. So here goes:
- Mahabharat – Upendrakishore Roychowdhury
Kheerer Putul – Abanindranath Tagore
Aranyak/Chander Pahar – Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay
Debi Chowdhurani – Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
Kaalbela – Samaresh Majumder
Sesher Kobita/Ghare Baire – Rabindranath Tagore
Prothom Protisruti/Subarnalata/Bokul Kotha – Ashapurna Debi
Aparajito – Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay
Srikanto – Saratchandra Chattopadhyay
First Person – Rituparno Ghosh
And no… I will NOT stop here… I have many more books to mention…
- Feluda Series – Satyajit Ray
Sukumar Somogro – Sukumar Roy
Puraner Golpo – Leela Majumder
Fera – Taslima Nasreeen
The Hungry Tide – Amitav Ghosh
It is futile to even try to list names of your favourite books. You mention one and you are reminded of another. However I tried to limit myself to 15 books. I have not mentioned several other writers like Narayan Sanyal, Nabarun Bhattacharya, Suchitra Bhattacharya, Tilottama Majumder and so many other stalwarts of Bengali literature. I have not even dared to mention books in languages other than Bangla…
I would not quote any specific line. Rather I want to share a few speeches that are stirring:
Historic 7th March Speech by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:
This is the speech that changed the fate of a Nation. Bangabandhu called for complete freedom – the creation of Independent Bangladesh. Thus began a 9-month long struggle that led to the birth of a Bangla-speaking Nation. “Amader Songram Muktir Sangram” (Our struggle is one of freedom) still inspires thousands of Bengalis to fight against religious fundamentalism.
The second quote is an essay titled “Nationalism in India” written by Rabindranath Tagore. The troubled times we live in, specially with a right-wing Hindu Government in power in India, communal violence is on the rise in India. The Prime Minister himself has a history of riots and massive cover-ups. This essay can show people the right way.
And lastly, the concluding lines of the poem Prasna (The Question) by Rabindranath Tagore:
যাহারা তোমার বিষাইছে বায়ু, নিভাইছে তব আলো,
তুমি কি তাদের ক্ষমা করিয়াছ, তুমি কি বেসেছ ভালো।
(Have you, Lord, forgiven those who have corrupted your world?
Do you love those who fill the world with darkness?)
Which are the quotes/essays/stories that inspire you?