A collection of poems by an outlawed separatist guerrilla leader from Assam that has got rave reviews is one of the highlights of the ongoing Frankfurt Book Fair.
On the opening day on Thursday, noted Assamese writer Indira Goswami released "Melodies and Guns", a collection of poems by Mithinga Daimary, the publicity chief of the banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).
"'Melodies and Guns' bears the smell of gunpowder, although the poems do reflect the poet's love for humanity," Goswami said.
Daimary, who has been in jail since 2003 after being captured during the military operations in Bhutan, has written the poems under his pen name Megan Kachari. Although his real name is Dipak Das, he is more popularly known as Mithinga Daimary and to poetry lovers, he is Megan Kachari.
Translated into English by well-known critic and writer Pradip Acharya, Daimary's poetry is being received well at Frankfurt. The poetry collection is brought out by UBS Publishers and Distributors Private Ltd,
"People who have read some of his verses have appreciated his writings," Goswami said.
The theme of the fair in 2006 is India, and the entire event is agog with news and sounds from the country.
Despite being in the jungles for nearly two decades, Megan Kachari the poet has been able to carve a niche among poetry lovers in Assam. Two collections of his poems have already been published - "Memsahib Prithivi" and "Rupor Naakphool Sonar Kharu" (Silver Nose Rings Golden Bangles).
Some of his poems get into print in local Assamese newspapers and other literary magazines at regular intervals.
Goswami met Daimary in the Guwahati jail during her efforts to broker peace between the Indian government and the ULFA.
"I was charmed by his beautiful poetry and his powerful feelings and thoughts," Goswami said. Three of Goswami's own books were also released at the fair.
Besides, she released "Order in Chaos: Essays on Conflict in India's Northeast and the Road to Peace in South Asia", edited by journalist and author Wasbir Hussain from Assam.