In Bengal, proliferation without profit | Cover Story | Times Crest
Popular on Times Crest
  • In This Section
  • Entire Website
  • Fun and games
    July 13, 2013
    Bombay Gymkhana first opened its doors strictly to moneyed Britishers.
  • Join the married club
    July 13, 2013
    For India's swish set, the ideal mate has an Ivy League education, a successful career, a six-figure salary, and an exclusive club membership.
  • The sacred club creed
    July 13, 2013
    Clubs are the new cathedrals of absolute authority. Watch how obsessively antiquated rules are observed.
More in this Section
Leaving tiger watching to raise rice Ecologist Debal Deb, who did his post-doctoral research from IISc in…
The crorepati writer He's the man who gives Big B his lines. RD Tailang, the writer of KBC.
Chennai-Toronto express Review Raja is a Canadian enthusiast whose quirky video reviews of Tamil…
Don't parrot, perform Maestro Buddhadev Dasgupta will hold a masterclass on ragas.
A man's man Shivananda Khan spent his life speaking up for men who have sex with men.
Bhowmick and the first family of Indian football At first glance, it would be the craziest set-up in professional football.
From Times Blogs
The end of Detroit
Jobs in Detroit's car factories are moving to India.
Chidanand Rajghatta
How I love the word ‘dobaara’...
Can ‘bindaas’ or ‘jhakaas’ survive transliteration?
Shobhaa De
Anand marte nahin...
India's first superstar died almost a lonely life.
Robin Roy
tagore's land

In Bengal, proliferation without profit


In Bengal, though poetry seems to be alive and well, it hasn't translated into poets selling more. "Bengalis have always been fond of poetry though it would be wrong to assume that there was great readership. There was a small section that loved it passionately, and a much bigger one that thought it was a waste of time. But, I feel, it is taken more seriously now than it was four decades back. Even though readership hasn't gone up. The sad part is that we have talented, young people writing very good stuff now, but their work is hardly ever noticed or appreciated, " says author Saibal Mitra.

Events like 'Kabita Utsab' have helped turn the focus on poetry, some feel. "At least, you have a platform where poets can come together and share ideas. Those interested in poetry can find out what's happening. But a poetry festival can't get more people reading poetry, " Mitra says, adding that the problem lies in the dated mindset of readers who love to visualise a poet as a "saintly, robe-clad figure" rather than an ordinary mortal who looks like them.

Veteran poet and author Sunil Gangopadhyay agrees. "Poets are a much mature lot now. I regularly come across 20-year-olds whose verses are extremely well thought-out, which is very heartening. Thanks to them, Bengali poetry is doing much better than it ever has. Also, we have more women writing poetry now, which has brought in a different dimension. Poetry is no longer looked down upon. Things are looking very upbeat, " says Gangopadhyay.

Raghab Bandyopadhyay, owner of publishing house Charchapad, says, "There indeed is a proliferation of poetry in Bengal. But ironically, writing poetry doesn't pay here. Many of the budding poets have to pay from their own pocket to publish their books. The problem with Bengal is that it's the myth about a poet or a writer that sells here. It's the Bohemian lifestyle of poet Shakti Chattopadhyay that prods many people to buy and read his books. That doesn't happen for young poets, which is sad. "

The publisher thinks the situation can change only if people connected to academics and journalism starts writing, as in Latin America.

Golen Singh, publisher of little magazine 'Kabi Sammelan', says, "Bengali poetry never had a booming market. Only a few poets manage to earn something from their books. It is unfortunate, but true. However, I still believe that proper marketing can help budding poets a lot in this regard. "

Other Times Group news sites
The Times of India | The Economic Times
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स | ઈકોનોમિક ટાઈમ્સ
Mumbai Mirror | Times Now
Indiatimes | नवभारत टाइम्स
महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स
Living and entertainment
Timescity | iDiva | Bollywood | Zoom
| Technoholik |


itimes | Dating & Chat | Email
Hot on the Web
Book print ads | Online shopping | Business solutions | Book domains | Web hosting
Business email | Free SMS | Free email | Website design | CRM | Tenders | Remit
Cheap air tickets | Matrimonial | Ringtones | Astrology | Jobs | Property | Buy car
Online Deals
About us | Advertise with us | Terms of Use and Grievance Redressal Policy | Privacy policy | Feedback
Copyright© 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service