Report on Gantha Meeting June 18, 2022

The Gantha meeting on June 18, 2022 was held online from 6:00 p.m.

There were supposed to be five speakers. Unfortunately, MasrufaNusrat, who was supposed to speak on Shaheen Akhtar, had a family emergency and could not attend. The other speakers, and the writers they spoke about, were the following:

Marzia Rahman on Mahmuda Khatun Siddiqua

Razia Sultana Khan on Selina Hossain

NurquamrunNaher on ZobaidaGulshan Ara

Jackie Kabir on RomenaAfaz

After speaking about Mahmuda Khatun Siddiqua’s life, Marzia recited two poems that she had chosen. During the discussion, Afroza Parveen noted that the writer was perhaps the first Bengali woman writer to write sonnets.

Razia Sultana Khan spoke about Selina Hossain’s life and read portions from her English translation of a short story by Selina Hossain: “The Blue Lotus of Death.”

NurquamrunNaherspoke aboutZobaidaGulshan Ara and read from her short story, “Ban Bhashi O Nadir Gan.”

Jackie Kabirdiscussed the importance of RomenaAfaz, who wrote thrillers, in encouraging young people to read. Jackie has not yet chosen the extract from RomenaAfaz’sDoshyuBonhur.

A lively discussion followed about the number of words we should be thinking about. It was suggested that a total of 3500 words should be sufficient per entry:  1000 for the biography and works and 2500 for prose extracts.

Niaz Zaman suggested that other members could follow Razia when they were selecting extracts of short stories for the volume. Razia had chosen the first few paragraphs and the last few. This helped to convey the essential message/theme of the story. 

The date of the next meeting was fixed for July 23. It was agreed that the July meeting would also be online and from 6:00 – 8:00. It was hoped that the August meeting might be in person.

The following members have volunteered to discuss their chosen writers in July:

Jobaira Biswas — Purabi Basu

Jackie – Mehrunnessa Islam

Nurquamrun – Makbula Manzoor

Jharna Rahman would be approached to speak on one of the writers she has chosen.

Niaz Zaman requested Gantha members to try to arrange translations of their selections into English. She also requested those who had written in English to translate their entries into Bangla. The Bangla manuscript should be ready by the end of the year.

Apart from the speakers and discussants, Tasneem Siraj Mahboob and Jobaira Biswas were also present at the meeting.