Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | August 24, 2012

My first publication

My grandmother (Amma) was always very appreciative of any good effort a youngster took. In a huge family such as ours, praises were hard to come by. Amma, despite her busy schedule was very culturally inclined. She praised her children and grandchildren for any effort taken to read, write, dance, sing, paint, sculpt and was a keen sponsor.

I remember back in 1985-86, (I was around 7-8 years old) I wrote a few tiny stories. They were less than 200 words each and a few of them were not even original. I wrote them in hand and stapled a book out them and named it “Galpo Guccho”. Amma was very appreciative of what I have done and wanted us to get it printed as an actual book. Kakumoni (my father’s youngest brother) was married just recently, and both Amma and I knew, Kakima’s (my newlywed aunt) very young brothers have a printing press. With Amma’s permission, I gave that manuscript to Kakima’s brothers, requesting them to print the book. Poor them, they happily accepted what they got, promising us to deliver. However, there were constraints. Their business was at a nascent stage and that time they did not have the fonts (or perhaps machines) to undertake such a publication. Kakima did mention this to us and so did they but I was a child and Amma was my keen sponsor. For over the next 3-4 years (can be even more), both Amma and me, kept on reminding them to honour their promise. I am sure it was embarrassing for my parents, but then Amma and I continued our relentless pressure. I know, we would be tempted to be self-critical again but the good thing was, never did Amma try to reason with me that my writings did not deserve to get published.

Finally, the desired font/machine was bought and twenty copies of “Galpo Guccho” were published. Amma and I were happy but trifle sad that because the publication was delayed, we could not sell the copies. As if……..!!

We did not even think about paying back Kakima’s brothers. They would remain the first publisher of my any of my work and that means a lot to me. I have never told them that, they made such a huge difference to me that time. I must some day.


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