Bengali Literary Heritage Bus Tour, Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utsav 2016
Bengali Literary Heritage Bus Tour
Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utsav (ABSU) 2016
The second edition of the Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utsav (ABSU) kicked off with the Bengali Literary Heritage Bus Tour, held on 16 Oct. 2016.
I was privileged enough to lead a group of about 60 eminent Kolkatans, including eminent writer and columnist Ranjan Bandhopadhyay, through the winding streets of north Kolkata past the houses of stalwarts of Bengali literature.
The tour stared from the Apeejay House in Park Street at about 2 pm, with Let Us Go as the heritage tour partner.
The first stop was the Kolkata Police Museum, located near Maniktala. The building was constructed in 1814 and served as the residence of Raja Rammohan Roy, the father of Bengal Renaissance. Rammohan lived in this house till his departure for England in 1830.
The Police Museum was inaugurated in this house in 1996 and contains several galleries demonstrating the evolution of Kolkata Police. There are other galleries displaying the arms and ammunitions seized from the freedom fighters.
Incidentally the Kolkata Police Museum was the only building where we were allowed inside, the other buildings were closed because of the extended Dutrga Puja holidays.
After a short stop at the Kolkata Police Museum it was time to head for the Rammohan Library, located a few yards away.
The three storied building houses the library in the top floor. The ground floor contains a seminar hall and the first floor contains a small but informative museum on Rammohan Roy.
But sadly everything was out of reach, as the century old library was closed for the extended Durga Puja vacation.
Next we moved on to the nearby Garpar road to have a look at the house of the Rays. Presently housing the Atheneum School, the building was built by Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury in 1914.
It served as the printing press of U Ray & Sons and the legendary magazine of Sandesh was first published from here. Satyajit Ray was also born in this house in 1921.
Next stop was the house of Vidyasagar Smriti Mandir the house of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
The beautiful house with lawns and landscaped gardens presently houses an office of a open university and was closed for puja vacation.
The last and final stop of the Bengali Literary Heritage Bus Tour was Bangio Sahitya Parishad, an institute aimed at promoting the Bengali language and literature. It contains a library with rare books. Also in its collection are rare artifacts related to Bengali literature. The tour ended with packet of tasty snacks from First Flush.
The Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utsav (ABSU) 2016, is scheduled at the Oxford Book Store on 21 – 22 October 2016, along with an adda session on the Bengali Literary Heritage Bus Tour scheduled on 22 October 11 am.