Another book that I read this year was Premendra Mitrer Shrestho Golpo (Best Stories of Premendra Mitra). As the title suggests, this book is a compilation of short stories by Bengali writer Premendra Mitra. Honestly speaking, I had difficulty appreciating most of the stories mainly because they have been written in an abstract manner. The stress of the writer is on depiction of the environment, human expressions and emotions, whereas the plot is secondary. But certainly, the description is flawless — all stories help you in experiencing life in varied colours. This is a characteristic of nearly whole Bengali literature irrespective of genre — it evokes emotions in you that you yourself weren’t aware of.
Let me give you an example. These young men had gone on an outing to a forest and were looking for a shelter for the night. They found a hut where an old and sick woman lived with her young grand daughter. They gave shelter to these men and provided them food. The hero developed a liking for the girl and during the time they spent there, their attachment grew. The old woman told the hero that she was still alive only for her grand daughter as she was worried what would happen to her after she is gone. She further told that her marriage had been fixed but the fellow went to the city for making arrangements for the wedding and to bring his parents and friends. While leaving he had promised that he would come back soon. He never came back. Now it is years and these two women were still waiting for the man. The hero was touched by the story, and told his friends that he certainly wanted to marry this girl. His friends warned him not to be too emotional and hasty but he did not listen. He talked to the old woman and expressed his willingness to marry her grand daughter. The two women were very happy. The next morning the friends got ready to leave, and the hero assured the women that he would return very soon for the wedding. But once he reached the city, he got busy with his own routine life and work. This was followed by an attack of Malaria — he had brought the infection from that visit. After long rest and slow recovery, time passed and the memories of that outing, the forest, that hut, old woman, her grand daughter and the promise he had made slowly faded away. On the rare occasions when those memories did turn up in his consciousness, it all seemed as a dream.
Title: Premendra Mitrer Shrestho Golpo
Author: Premendra Mitra
Publisher: Dey’s Publishing
Hardcover: 200 pages
Price: ₹ 239