These are a few of my favorite things……………

I was in 10th Standard when I first laid my eyes on the book. On a rainy afternoon I and my friend decided to go for “ combined studies”. So I went to her place. Donot remember what all we studied together , but when it was time for me to leave I saw this book in a corner of her room . She said “ Read it once , good read.” I borrowed it from her . Read it that night itself in one go & still am reading the book whenever I can.

Finally I bought a copy for myself after 7 years of my first reading Sharat Chandra Chattopadhaya’s “ Datta”. A very simple book. Some would even say very Bollywoodish. But that is one of my most favourite novels till date. A simple story about three friends and their children set in the pre independent rural Bengal.

Betrothed ( Datta) to the son of one of her father’s friend Jagadish; how Bijoya , the vivacious heroine was unaware and how she was mislead by the other friend of her father Rashbihari into marrying his son instead, the whole story is very  engrossing and of course interesting. A very strong character among the women of  Sharat Chandra Chattopadhaya’s novels; Bijoya is an interesting woman. Somehow I find Bimala similar to Elizabeth Bennet , prejudiced and proud just like her English counterpart. Of course the hero , Naren is no Darcy !

It is the novel which I keep with me whenever I travel somewhere. It is the fact that Datta is my favourite novel and I had read it more than 20 times made me a hot favourite at my friend’s home in Howrah. Her mama , mami and Didu ( grandma) liked this Assamese girl from Guwahati who speaks broken Bengali with all wrong adjectives and verbs but who reads Sharat Chandra in original Bengali versions. There mami told me that there is a very old Bengali movie based on Datta starring Suchitra Sen and Soumitra Chatterjee.I wish I could see the movie. Never seen it though. How would I love to see this novel made into a movie by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. I liked his version of “ Parineeta “ very much.

Besides my favourite place in the capital , this is about my favourite novel. Will write again about some other favourite things soon.

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