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Snigdhendu Bhattacharya , Hindustan Times
Kolkata, January 20, 2013
Want to be part of that favourite past-time of Bengalis, an adda session on the latest hit Bengali short story, or, just chat on the recent trend in Bengali poetry sitting in New York? Want to buy an Ashapurna Devi classic and have it delivered at your home in Boston? To quench the thirst of every Bengali no matter where he or she lives, publisher Mitra & Ghosh has launched a website dedicated entirely to literary adda. And with about 25 crore people around the world speaking the Bengali language, the website is bound to be a hit. The website, named gol poswalpo.com, would also host monthly virtual book fairs. It would be officially launched at the Kolkata Book Fair on February 2.

“This is a first of its kind initiative. Right now, there is no platform in cyberspace where Bengalis can take part in literary adda sessions,” Indrani Roy Chakraborty of Mitra & Ghosh told HT.

Roy Chakraborty is calling the website a virtual library. She says that once it takes off, the site would host Bengali books published by many publishers.

“Initially, the virtual book fair would be dedicated to an author every month. But later, readers can also ask us for books by other publishers,” she said.

Time seems to be ripe for such an idea as literary festivals are growing in popularity. Kolkata plays host to two such festivals — the Kolkata Literary Meet and Apeejay Kolkata Literature Festival — and both are packing in bookworms.

“The launch of the website seems promising. Somehow, the space for literature is shrinking in print, and therefore, our literature festivals had become necessary to promote exchange of ideas and discussions. This website can serve the same purpose,” said Malavika Banerjee, coordinator of Kolkata Literary Meet that has become hugely popular only in its second year.