When a writer gets a fan society
The year 2011 began on a bright note with fans of the Sourabh Kumar Anuragi Sangstha formally inaugurating a website dedicated to the litterateur. The Sourav Kumar Chaliha fan website – a first of its kind attempt – was released by Prof Ranjit Dev Goswami in a sombre gathering of academicians, litterateurs, journalists, entrepreneurs and people from all walks of life brought together by one common thread – love for Chaliha’s work.
Born in 1930, Sourav Kumar Chaliha is one of the doyens of Assamese literature who has long chosen to remain in anonymity by refusing to come out in public. Author of books like Ashanta Electron, Duporiya, Ehat Dhaba, Kobi, etc, Sourav Kumar Chaliha’s love for Physics, Marxism and World literature are duly reflected in his works. He has been bestowed with a number of awards, the Sahitya Academi for his collection of short stories, Golam in 1974, the Assam Valley Literary award being a few of them.
The Sourav Kumar Chaliha Anuragi Sanstha or SKC fan society was formed on January 1, 2010 in a meeting held at Lakhi Ram Barua Sadan. Formed by the fans of the writers works, the SKC fan society is probably the only such fan society in this part of the country dedicated to a writer. The society comprises of the fans, admirers, enthusiasts, followers, disciples, addicts et al of Chaliha’s writings. The website was inaugurated exactly a year since the formation of the society.
Chaliha, no doubt, is one of the most enigmatic writers of Assam and the inauguration of a website of him is a perfect tribute to his literary sensibilities. But besides the tribute itself, the website has also provided a boost to the entire literary scenario of the region. I say this for despite globalisation making inroads into each and every aspect of our lives, Assamese literature is yet to make its presence felt on the World Wide Web. Judging from that aspect, the SKC website is truly a fresh initiative. The website primarily consists of Chaliha’s sixteen original Assamese stories and their English translations by various other writers. Moreover, the two award acceptance speeches by Saurav Kumar Chaliha, both in Assamese and English, have also been included. A few audio links of a couple of radio dramas and a story-reading and two films, “Lakhtokiat Golam” and “Bhal Khabar” also find space in the bilingual site.
The lead for forming the society was taken by veteran filmmaker Altaf Majid and Nazrul Haque – both die-hard fans of the writers work. Altaf Majid had earlier even made a short film, Lakhtokiat Golam, on the writer. Besides the translators, the other litterateurs who spoke on the occasion included Dr. Deepika Phukan, who presided over the ceremony, Arup Dutta and Debashish Tarafdar – a long time enthusiast of Chaliha who shared his experiences on reading the author. No doubt, Tarafdar’s meticulous examination and analysis of Chaliha’s work and his own personal experiences while reading them added flavour to the evening.
Here’s wishing many more activities by the fan society in the days to come.