Its been a dismal year. And I say it again today as the news of Sunil Gangapadhyay (সুনীল গঙ্গোপাধ্যায়)'s death reaches us. I have a feeling of loss even though I have read just one of his books, and a few poems.

Translated in English with a still from the movie used as the cover. Buy
I am reminded of the first book that I read of his, a novella titled "Nillohiter Ayna" (নীললোহিতের আয়না), which had a great impression on me. I was still at school at the time, and our bangla teacher convinced that none of us (Chittagong, 'O' levels in the 90s, new school ~ 8 students in my class) was reading much, and to prove it, he said, bring me 4 of your favorite bangla books. I still can't recall what books I brought to class that day except the aforementioned. And I don't know what his plan was when he took those books, and never returned them!

Like often the case with me, I am left with just an impression from a film or a book, having forgotten everything else, but that. Its an abstract sensation that I couldn't express in words, but its one that will cause me to want to get it back. On many trips to bookstores I have asked for it, looked for it, in vain.

Another time, when I had this urge, was for the movie "Pratidwandi"(প্রতিদন্দ্বী), by Satyajit Ray (সত্যজিৎ রায়). This time, it was easier to get it back, and on this occasion it was the first time for my wife to watch it. We were both thoroughly moved with the film. The characters were well made, well directed, and the story of a young individual's struggle with ideologies, effectively told! At the end of that movie, we both noticed that this movie was also adapted from a book by the same name of Sunil. This inspired us to take on another Satyajit Ray/Sunil Gangapadhyay product - Aranyer Dinratri (অরন্যের দিনরাত্রি), which was equally impressive.

I struggle with finding time for books these days, but as people like Sunil pass away, I feel a sense of 'tragedy' in not being able to make time for their books. I have a sense of these times being less and less inspiring for the human race, and with lesser and lesser number of people to grasp these circumstances and to hold it to our faces in the form of literature, film and art.