India's first Bengali Lit Fest to go beyond Kolkata from next year

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Kolkata, Nov 27, 2022, IANS

The Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utsob (ABSU), India's first Bengali literature festival, will no longer remain confined to Kolkata from next year onwards.

According to Swagat Sengupta, ABSU Director and CEO of Kolkata's iconic Oxford Bookstores, the venue for ABSU, the ninth edition of the festival next year will also be organised in certain other metro a Tier-II cities of the country.

"We have been receiving requests from Bengali associations from other cities for organising similar Bengali literary festivals there as well. So, from next year, while the main winter event will be organised in Kolkata, similar events will also be held in other Indian cities in association with the Bengali associations there at the time of special occasions as per the Bengali calendar, such as Bengali New Year and Saraswati Puja, among others. From next year, ABSU will become India's first mobile Bengali literature festival in its true sense," Sengupta said.

According to Sengupta, the 8th edition of ABSU, which concluded on Sunday, was significant on two counts.

"First, after two years the event was organised in its old physical format unlike the previous two occasions when it was held in the virtual mode owing to the Covid pandemic. Secondly, the eighth edition marked the opening of a little magazine corner in Oxford Bookstores, which is the first organised platform from the publishers from the sector to showcase their products and market them online," Sengupta said.

This year, ABSU reached out to a wider section of audience through sessions and discussions on varied topics of interest such as poetry, little magazine, illustration, use of dialect, politics, youth literature, thriller, book publishing and editing, journalism and cinema in Bengali literature, etc.