The City of Joy like most of its festivals celebrates the Book Fair in a magnanimous manner. Book Fair, the go to place for bibliophiles, intellectuals and almost every other Calcuttan, started off on the 31st of January this year. There was electricity in the air as the gates opened. Excited students started arriving with friends and family.
The post modern decor set apart the grounds of Central Park of Salt Lake. Hordes of people gathered in almost every book stall, while some took respite near the seating areas. Amidst the hubbub a group of Techno India College students gathered near the Ananda Publishers stall said, “We rushed here as soon as college got over. We plan to buy a lot of books today, starting with Ananda Publishers.” A group of young musicians sat crooning with guitars. “It’s a happy place and we wanted to make it happier with our music”, they stated in unison. A group of Baul artists garbed in saffron were getting ready for their evening performance at the clearing in the middle of the park. Another book enthusiast Priyadarshini Dasgupta of Loreto College said “I plan to come here everyday because I live nearby and this is paradise for me. Books are everywhere. I will be spending most of my time at the Oxford and Penguin bookstalls. I am pretty excited!” The crowd started thickening as evening fell and Kolkata came to life inside the Book Fair grounds.