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15 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Jharna Das Purkayastha

Children’s Writer
Sheikh Iraj
Jharna Das Purkayastha

Jharna Das Purkayastha, 73, has been associated with writing since she was in class 7. Over the years, she has penned a number of children’s books. She was recently awarded the Bangla Academy Literary Award 2018 for juvenile literature. This week, Y&I sat down with her for an exclusive interview at her residence in the capital.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO WRITING?

I remember when I was in class 7, I started writing poems and short stories. My father had a library and I used to spend a lot of time there. Reading books was very trendy back then and we didn’t have TV, computers or mobile phones. So, my friends and I would have reading competitions to see who could read the most books.

Why is writing important to you?

I really don’t know. I love writing and it makes me feel alive. Maybe, it was my fate to become a writer.

Please tell us about your latest books and your biggest achievements.

At this year’s Ekushey Book Fair, three of my new books are going to be released. Two of them are children’s books. My first book was published in 1966, it is called ‘Godhulir Rong Khela’. The fascinating thing is at the time, I didn’t have any idea about publishing a book. My husband, who was in government service, was the one who motivated me to publish the stories I wrote. I was over the moon when my first book was published. Over the years, 86 books of mine have been published. I never wrote thinking  I would win an award, but somehow, I was fortunate enough to win many awards. My biggest achievement is the love and support I have received from my fans.

Please tell us about your work routine.

I like to write in the morning. I think I can concentrate better then. Due to my husband’s illness, I have not visited the Ekushey Book Fair for many years. The thing is I have never gone anywhere without my husband.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for a writer today? And what are your thoughts about the changes technology is bringing to books?

As a children’s writer, one has to always come up with new ideas to entertain children and youths. We constantly have to try to motivate them to read more through our writings. As far as technological changes are concerned, one cannot stop it. Every day, new technological breakthroughs are taking place and youths want to use them. That being said, paper books are still popular and I believe it will continue to be so.

What’s your future plan?

I want to become a better writer. At the moment, I am writing about Draupadi, one of the most important characters of the Mahabharata epic.

Photo: Ranzit Sarker.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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