Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Apathy

its a shame that the cultured babus of bengal are so reluctunt to pay respect to two doyens of its literature. shibram chakraborty and syed mujtaba ali. its not only the apathy of modern day half-baked parents that they hand over to their kids latest volume of harry potter instead of a set of shibram or satyajit. thakurmar jhuli...papa, eta abar ki crap? mamma, you promised to give me harry's goblet of fire. jadi na dao, tahole aami pizzahut e jabo naa. i swear. horri bol. i am not acting snotty by saying children should not read rowling, but the pain is with the passage of time, our children has developed the tendency of thinking that if they read bengali, they would be a fallen race. and that tendency is inflicted to them by their parents...frankly speaking who were never a book lover. otherwise, how can they forget satyajit, shibram. how can they forget syed mujtaba, who taught bengalis how to write a travelogue, rabindranath's russiar chithi was never a great writing to know russia. its too intellectual. but if we read syed's deshe videshe, we can catch the exact nerve of an afghan. giant child, as described by syed sir. did anybody wrote a travelogue like syed with such humour? i bet. also, if we read mujtaba ali's work we realise how much the man loved his country, its culture. some royal host, serving him a plateful of exquisite biryani, asked him, "so what do you think is the best dish in this world?" the host was taken aback to know that it was bhapa padmar elish and garam bhaat. where do we get that indianness in any of our indian writers' work. who says the more educated the man is, the more complex is his writings. is he more educated than mujtaba? a great scholar who went to germany to study, was the guest of afghan king to teach in kabul university? his marksheet was written by rabindranath himself! nobody had that privilege i believe. what do we say about satyajit, is anybody's writing as sweet, as charming, as simple and as informative as satyajit's? can anybody play with words like shibram did? my stomach still aches when i sit with his works. he never refuses to amaze me. with every reading, his stories get newer, refresher. we have got streets named after alien ho-chi-minh, lenin, kankaria, alimuddin, s n banerjee, not to mention about gandhi, vivekananda and lot more. but no road dedicated to shibram, syed mujtaba. of course satyajit has, but i wonder what would have happened if his pather pachali did not get aclaim? we cry when america invades iraq, insults vietnam, shouts at china or north korea, our heart goes shramiker rokte laal. but what about our own genius' plight? when will the dhoti-claded jokers look into their plight? if buddhababu goes to vietnam and ask a shramik bhai where is bengal, i bet he would point towards a crater in the moon. when will these self-poisoned ignorants wake up and pay respect to their own culture? i mean without being a culture-vulture, true tribute to the genius.

10 comments:

A fool on the hill said...

Great post, man. True, Satyajit Ray's lucid prose has taught me to love and appreciate bangla "sahityo", despite the fact that I did not have any formal training in the language.

Tridib said...

Ghetufool, you have raised a very pertinent point. But, it's also interesting to notice how reading habits are evolving. In fact, I was planning to blog on this. For the last few years, Anandamela has been coming out with graphic novel versions of some of the popular Feluda adventures. This year's Anandamela has Ebar Kando Kedarnathey. In fact, there is also a graphic novel version of a Ghanada adventure. So, though Harry Potter may be topping the popularity charts among bangali kids now, it's not that the literature of such greats as Shibram, Ray, Mujtaba Ali will be forgotten any time soon.

Ghetufool said...

fool,
its heartening to know that your love for your language has taken you so far. but are you among the last species of the 'lovers' that i am interacting with. pl ensure you teach your children to read bengali. i swear they will love like you. dont let the language die.

tridib,
thanks for the hope. kudos to anandabazar group for the good work. there is nothing like a comic to draw children.
wish shivram, satyajit, ali servive till our great race thrives.

Tiny Black Cat said...

satyajit ta-o kichhu pachchhen, amader generation-er kojon sotti-y syed mujtaba ali-ke chene? actually, your mention of mujtaba ali brought this comment out of me. even many people who lament the loss of bengali culture happen not to have even heard of mujtaba ali. i really wonder how 'deshe bideshe' ended up being such obscure literature... it's one of the masterpieces of bengal!

and the comment on roads is really thoughtful. we call calcutta a city of culture... and what culture are we really talking of here? that borrowed from everywhere else but our own roots?

Teleute said...

deshe bideshe is simply lovely.

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Ghetufool said...

Mandy, teleute,
thanks for visiting my blog.
mandy,
u have raised a vary pertinent point. not many of our generation knows about deshe bideshe. may be because they dont want to know. otherwise is it so difficult to get a copy?
but i believe, syed's work is in slumber now. the giant will wake up one day. we cannot remain ignorant for long.
see, you know who is ali, teleute knows, i know.
and we all have read his work.
similarly there is millins and millions who have read his works and loved him.
dont worry, we will make sure, our offsprings also know the giants well.
cheers

Pradip Kumar Shome said...

I am a fan of Sri Sibram as well as Syed Sahib. Cannot forget one of his famous dialogue in Deshe Videshe, when he wrote having night halt is some sarai on his way to kabul, that, 'Shuchoi veddho andhakar dekechi akhon shuichi veddho durgandha pelam'.

Ghetufool said...

'Shuchoi veddho andhakar dekechi akhon shuichi veddho durgandha pelam'.

yes you are right sir. thanks for coming. dont youb think, we wake up to the fact that, we have ignored our literary pioneers?
please do come again. thanks again. bhalo thakben...

jyotirmoy said...

Bhai ghetuphool tomer blog ta pore lum. Aksomoy amar boro anonder din kete chilo Sibram kakur sathey. Onake niye to ajkal ar keu bishesh alochona kor e na tai nam tao beshi ki akdom ee shona jaye na. Manush hisebe uni chilen ak mota muti mohan becti. Koek bochor agey kolkata te giyechilum ar relative der ar protibashi der choto chele meyeder jiggesh korechilum Sibram er bishoy tar por amer bisshoy!!! Beshir bhag tara Sibram er rochona pore ni.