The Kolkata Book Fair (Boi Mela) is the greatest yearly attraction I look forward to. The Book Fair is not only about buying books. We get to touch and feel the books and even smell the freshly printed books with crisp pages. Delicious! It’s really worth checking out Greatbong’s blog – a brilliant post where he recreates the atmosphere of the boi mela with his superb style of writing.
This time I visited the Book Fair twice. I made it a point not to buy any books this time (because once I get a book I can’t rest till I finish it and my academics require me not to lose focus till April this year), instead I convinced my parents to get me a membership to the British Council Library which was available at a discount on the Fair ground. Participated in the crossword contest at the Indian Express stall and won a prize! Whoa! 🙂 Would have liked to participate in the quiz too but I had to move on with the so many other stalls still to explore. While I had my parents with me on yesterday, today I accompanied my friends to the fair.
This year is supposed to be the last one for the glorious boi mela to be at the Maidan. I am afraid that the fair will lose much of its glory if it is shifted. How can we get the same ambience elsewhere?
A glimpse of the Book Fair captured on my friend’s camera-phone.
[Update] An anecdote :- On Sunday i.e. the closing day of the fair, at the Penguin book stall a person was caught red-handed stealing a book. He was punished with the task of memorising the first two pages of that book. Only after he could read out those pages from his memory was he let off —- along with the book too! 😮 Now this can happen in the Book Fair only. The true spirit of the Kolkata Book Fair.