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Millennium Memories: Arindam Basu’s Book on Calcutta’s Wind of Change

Kolkata, Apr 21: A discussion on Kolkata at the launch of the book “Millennium Memories” at a city bookstore last evening threw back fond recollections of a city we so love and admire.

Dramatist, Playwright and politician Bratya Basu, who inaugurated the book by Arindam Basu, said: “When we write and are truly inspired by something, the inspiration becomes us and it takes us through the journey of writing a book. Millennium Memories, a biographical fiction, tries to see the city of the past through a little boy’s tryst with the author. Amu is the modern eye taking a look into the past.”

Also present for the launch were Tollywood heartthrob Abir Chatterjee, sports historian Boria Majumdar, actor Aparajita Gupta, Director Riingo Banerjee and playwright, author and MP Arpita Ghosh.

Talking about the book Arindam Basu said: “Millennium Memories has a series of articles on my affair with this city. I have tried to create a living image of my city as I saw it change. I started writing four years back. I have gone back and forth with the book, didn’t write for a good three-month period and at one point even thought of quitting. And then one evening as I was walking back from my old residence in Goabagan Street, I saw a house being torn down. It was a house with a garden. We spent countless hours in that garden chasing squirrels, climbing trees, playing hide-and-seek. It was one of the fondest memories of my growing up. I knew deep down I needed to write this book. Before everything I knew changed forever in the flyovers and skyscrapers that invaded this city with the ferocity of the green moss in winter.”

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Bratya Basu & Arindam Basu at cafe Story, Kolkata during book launch.

“This book in no way is a historical document or a chronicle of the city. I do not claim what I have written is bible. At best it’s a vignette of images that keep resurfacing in my chain of thoughts, a refuge where I hide in nights of uncertain future and a nostalgia capsule I take a ride in once in a while. It is a very personal recount of the Calcutta I was born into and the Kolkata I live in. I hope you find your lost childhood in these pages, as I found mine,” he concluded.

Abir Chatterjee praised the lucid prose and the content that touched the heart of anyone who grew up in Kolkata in the 70s and 80s of the last century.”This book is about everyone who saw the city in the 80s. It is a beautiful memoir,” he said.

Boria praised the author for picking up a topic we so carefully avoid. “I am happy he wrote about Kolkata. I knew his love for the city. I know he has written a fantastic book,” he said.

Millennium Memories, published by Power Publishers, Prime, is priced at Rs 260 and is available both online and in stores.  The book ia also set to be published as an ‘Audio Book’ in the first of its kind audio-app brought by the publishers.

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