Urhalpool’s Inaugural Ceremony at Kolkata Book Fair, Feb 2009
- Urhalpool Inauguration at Youtube
It was on the 7th of February, a Saturday, when Urhalpool’s inaugural function was held at the colossal UBI auditorium of the Calcutta Book fair. The auditorium was packed with enthusiastic spectators. All the budding poets and readers from the Little Magazine stall of the book fair had already perused Urhalpool on the internet. Many others had heard about the magazine, but couldn’t fulfill their readers’ aspirations due to their inability to access the internet. Thus, so many ardent celebrants of literature were gathered to participate in this grand welcoming of Urhalpool.
- Sunil Gangopadhyay unveils ‘Urhalpool’
In his opening address, Sunil Gangopadhyay – the quintessence of Bengali literature – said, “‘Urhalpool’ signifies the communication of one place with another…this magazine can therefore be called a connecting bridge between America and Kolkata. This magazine is available in the electronic form – commonly called an e-magazine. One does not have to buy it at a stall; it’s available at the click of a computer key. There is one significant characteristic that sets ‘Urhalpool’ apart from other e-magazines – it has articles from mainstream Bengali writers juxtaposed with those from their American and European counterparts. Also some Bengali articles have been translated in English and vice-versa. The communication between two languages and cultures is propagated thus.”
He also said, “The magazine has had only one edition so far. It has already been viewed across 70 countries and that is quite a feat. Besides ‘Krittibash’, even ‘Desh’ cannot boast of such a widespread circulation. As a result, Bengali language and literature have been catapulted to a global podium. People from both big and small pockets of Europe and America can now savor the richness of Bengali literature through this magazine.”
- Poet Gautam Datta with the cover page banner
Giving us an insight into the love of literature of editor-cum-poet Gautam Datta, he said this publication would be enlivened by the essence of Bengali as a language. Speaking from personal experience, he gave examples of the limited manifestation of bengali literature on a global platform and also expressed his vision of the furtherance of bengali literature and language through Urhalpool and wished the magazine enormous success; saying thus, he auspicated the function.
- Italian writer Alessandra Corsini addresses the audience
The editor of Urhalpool, poet Gautam Datta, expressed his gratitude to the young members of Sreeshti – an organization in New Jersey – for their indefatigable endeavors towards the publication of this magazine. He expressed his vision of seeing Urhalpool, in the coming days, establish itself, amidst the thronging masses, as a bridge between literature in the east and the west. Italian writer, Alessandra Corsini, whose articles also appear on Urhalpool, graced this special event, thereby giving it an international visage. The Italian Consul general also made his honorary presence on this momentous occasion.
- from left to right: Minakshi Chattopadhyay presents the Shakti Chattopadhyay Award
- Nabanita Deb Sen holding the award
Minakshi Chattopadhyay, wife of late poet Shakti Chattopadhyay, felicitated Nabanita Deb Sen (who was absent due to ill health and was represented by Swati Gangopadhyay) with the Shakti Chattopadhyay literary award for her lifetime contribution to literature. The presence of Minakshi Chattopadhyay, the written speech of Nabanita Deb Sen, combined with the recitation of Shakti Chattopadhyay’s poetry by the presenter Soumitra Mitra, created an aura of poetic mysticism which enthralled the assembled crowd.
- Nupur Lahiri presents the Nirmal Chandra Gangopadhyay award to poet Srijat
Author Dr Nupur Lahiri, a resident of America, presented Urhalpool’s Nirmal Chandra Gangopadhyay literary award – derived from her illustrious father, Nirmal Chandra Gangopadhyay – to young and budding poet Srijat.
Following this, prominent literateur Alolika Mukherji, gave a short and simple speech about Urhalpool. There were poetry recitations by Mallika Sengupta, Bithi Chattopadhyay, Mohr Chattopadhyay, Prabal Kumar Basu, Nupur Lahiri, Anshuman Kaur, Pinaki Thakur, Subodh Sarkar, Sanhita Sen and Gautam Datta.