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Comic relief

A colleague’s friend wished to read Nonte Phonte and Hada Bhoda, the popular Bengali comics all over again. All the comics in his collection were stolen by his younger cousins or were donated to some other friends. He asked the colleague to help him find some of the copies so that he could  ruminate about his early days. Without any second thought they headed towards the boi-para, College Street. Booksellers from the rows of shops invited them to visit their stall. “Didi ki chai bolun” echoed from every corner. But when the colleague’s friend, intimidated by so much of importance, named the books, their voices died down. None of the shops had any of the copies. The friend wanted old ones of course. Having failed at the quest they decided they should look for the new copies. They again started visiting the stalls asking for the comics. “These books are not easily available nowadays. Children seldom read comics. After all, such wonderful videogames are available in the market,” said a stall owner. They were further disheartened to see the door of Deb prakashan, publisher of the Hada Bhoda, closed. One of the stall owners who had been watching them said: “arey dhuke dekhun na. Dorja ta thelun (go inside and see, push the door open).” There were people inside. An elderly man in dhoti and kurta asked them what they want. And they came out smiling with several copies of Nonte Phonte, Hada Bhoda and Batul The Great. However, the colleague’s friend could not stop wondering why only one shop in the boi-para sells comics that the children of his time grew on.

Soma Basu

Soma Basu

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  1. Arkava Arkava January 31, 2011

    always been very thankful for narayan sanyal's work. man. i never got the issues of batul the grt in order for some reason.
    but nonte fonte, (&superintendent sir & keltuda) beat the rest hands down

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