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Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela
Spring brings spark in fairground

Staff Reporter:

With sweet fragrance in the air of spring, the simultaneous celebrations of Pahela Falgun and Valentine’s Day brought cheerful colour and hearty expression of love among bookworms, particularly the youths and couples, as they thronged the Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela wearing colourful panjabis, sarees, salwars, and flower crowns on Wednesday.

Thousands of visitors of all ages flocked to different stalls and pavilions with sheer enthusiasm and curiosity in search of desired books by their favourite authors and presented books to their loved ones on the occasion of Pahela Falgun and Valentine’s Day.

Many couples spent quality time in the fairground on the day. A number of them were even seen reciting romantic poems to their loved ones while exploring books.

Sabbir and Kashfia visited the fair hand in hand on Wednesday afternoon. The newly married couple said their day began early in the morning.

“It has been a long but enjoyable day. After joining the Pahela Falgun celebration of year Jatiya Bashanta Utsab Udjapon Parishad at Charulkala’s Bakultala, we went to Jagannath Hall on the invitation of our friends on the occasion of Saraswati puja. Now we have checked in the book fair,” Sabbir said.

Kashfia said Sabbir was busy quipping with each other. She said her husband assured her to give her a novel by her favourite author but didn’t present it till afternoon. Sabbir, however, said he was about to purchase the novel.

“He promised to present me ‘Tomar Jonyo Dariye Chilam Bole’ by Sadat Hossain but hasn’t given it yet. I have given him ‘Premer Kobita Samagra’ by Shahid Qadri,” Kashfia said.

Publishers and salespersons were happy with the response from readers marking Pahela Falgun and Valentine’s Day though they said not all of the visitors bought books.

AK Nasir Ahmed Selim, the publisher of Kakali Prokashoni, said the large presence of readers has boosted their sales.

“Our sale was good from the second day of the fair. But the fair needed a spark which we got on the occasion of Pahela Falgun and Valentine’s Day,” he told the Daily Sun.

Authors also had a good time at the fair on the day. They said they were pleased to see people celebrating the occasions.

“We as a nation love to celebrate occasions. It’s true that many visitors have bought books while some of them just passed quality time in the fairground. But we shouldn’t underestimate their love for celebration. Their presence has given the book fair a complete look,” said author Mojaffar Hossain.

On the fourteenth day of the book fair, a discussion program titled “Language Activist Gaziul Haque” was held at the main stage of the book fair at 4pm with Prof Abdul Mannan Chowdhury in the chair.

Rafat Alam Mishu presented the keynote paper while Sujata Haque and Mohammad Humayun Kabir were present as discussants.

Writer and cartoonist Ahsan Habib, poet Shahed Kayes, author and musician Tanveer Tareq, and fictionist Mazhar Sarker discussed their new books at the Lekhok Bolchi stage.

According to Bangla Academy, some 91 new books hit the stalls on the day.

Jobayer Abdullah will present the keynote paper while Shafiqur Rahman Chowdhury and Md Nishane Halim will participate in the discussion, to be presided over by Saidur Rahman Boyati.

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