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  Books   17 Jan 2018  A verdant idyll that was once home

A verdant idyll that was once home

THE ASIAN AGE. | KAVI BHANDARI
Published : Jan 17, 2018, 12:20 am IST
Updated : Jan 17, 2018, 12:20 am IST

The book details the joys and sorrows of village folk, the experience of vacationers from cities.

He spent almost 50 years in the corporate sector in communications and has retired now.
 He spent almost 50 years in the corporate sector in communications and has retired now.

The formative years of a person’s life go a long way in shaping one’s personality, and very being. In the book An Elsewhere Place, author Malay Kumar Roy revisits his boyhood in Hazaribagh where he spent about ten years, from early 1950’s to early ‘60’s. Hazaribagh is in Chhotanagpur, in Jharkhand, then a part of Bihar. The book details the joys and sorrows of village folk, the experience of vacationers from cities, startling wildlife encounters and the writer’s school life.

He spent almost 50 years in the corporate sector in communications and has retired now. He wrote this book for two reasons: to record his memories and to recall the temper of a place that once was. Apart from describing the scenic beauty, the book also describes the joys of hiking and the tranquility of the verdant surroundings. His pieces echo some of the issues that are the subject of contemporary engagement — the importance of an open, inclusive education, the importance of preserving the natural habitat, the individuality of the village folk. “I had the privilege of growing up in this calm, serene and beautiful environment,” he says.

 

An Elsewhere Place — Boyhood days in Hazaribagh Malay Kumar Roy Speaking Tiger pp.184, Rs 299An Elsewhere Place — Boyhood days in Hazaribagh Malay Kumar Roy Speaking Tiger pp.184, Rs 299

Recalling how different Kolkata was from Hazaribagh, he says, “Kolkata was a city humming with noise. Hazaribagh was a completely different environment. I remember the winter afternoon walks in Hazaribagh — the fields, meadows, trees and grass covered with frost. Also the lovely, mellow autumn days and monsoon showers. It was all so overwhelming. Hazaribagh in my time was a different world where one could relate easily to the rhythm of seasons and their marvelous texture. But it too has gone the way of similar quiet hill towns that have changed over the course of time. But still vividly unchanged in my memories is its tone and texture of climate, the landscapes, countryside and hiking along woodland trails for miles in the mountains.”

 

“The good memories always stay with us. What I wanted in the book was to share some of my memories of a time gone by, a time which now lives only in memory,” he signs off.

Tags: autumn, malay kumar roy