Story /poem / interview of the week

Harbinger of autumn

By Swapan K Banerjee

My acquaintance with kash phool (Kans Grass) deepened when as an adolescent I read the novel Pather Panchali (first published in 1929) by Bibhutibhusan Bandyopadhyay. His other novel, Aranyak happens to be my all-time favourite mainly because of its evocative depiction of the wonders of nature in places like Lobtulia and its surroundings which sadly do not exist anymore. I still vividly recall the scene where Durga and Apu run with great excitement to see a train passing through their village; the majesty and marvel of the steam engine hauling the train, smoke drifting out from it and curling back in the air, glimpsed through the banks of flowering kash phool grown wild all along the track. Of course the image of this spectacle got further imprinted in the subconscious when I saw the film of the same name (first released in 1955) by the great Satyajit Ray.

About Swapan K Banerjee

Swapan K Banerjee is a freelance writer specialising in literary features. Banerjee realised his calling as a writer when the author Ruskin Bond sent his articles and poems to Boston University’s Special Collection Library. His literary write-ups have been featured in several anthologies. Swapan K Banerjee is known for his books Rusty & I: Up-close with Ruskin Bond (RUPA) & People Who Meet People: Interviews with the Stars (Tranquebar).

Travel writers Hugh & Colleen Gantzer

You got us to open doors which we thought had been rusted shut many years ago.

Hugh Gantzer

Relationships matter for me more than poetry that brought you over to Cuttack. Am grateful for your inherent goodness. That is perhaps why you see the 'good' in others.

Jayanta Mahapatra
Poet Jayanta Mahapatra
Author David Davidar

I've seen a copy of your interview, which I think is excellent.

David Davidar

Thank you for your kind email and the lovely poem (published in Poetry Society of India). Always follow your dreams and fight for them with faith.

Paulo Coelho
Author Paulo Coelho
Author Bill Aitken

Your articles as always make for interesting reading. Wish you continued success with your lively interviews. You have the knack of elicitating the deeper layer of a writer’s urges. You remain a fond memory to us all.

Bill Aitken from Mussoorie

Thank you for your nice words!

Acclaim from Nobel Laureate Mme Wislawa Szymborska (1996)
Mme Wislawa Szymborska
Author Ruskin Bond with Swapan K Banerjee at Ivy Cottage

Swapan K Banerjee is a Boswell of sorts - a Boswell not just to one writer, such as a Dr. Johnson, but to many men of letters, musicians and others.

Ruskin Bond

You have a keen eye and a voyager's heart. I like your work. You are so attentive. All power to your pen.

I Allan Sealy
Author I Allan Sealy with Swapan K Banerjee
Swapan K Banerjee at First Mussoorie Writers Festival

Recent Posts

Was there any harrowing experience finding a publisher? My book of plays I took to many publishers. Everybody said there ...
Read more
Did you feel a sense of release each time you successfully completed a poem? The joy is over once you ...
Read more
Your cosy cottage in Mussoorie remains mostly enveloped in profound silence all through the year as its some distance away ...
Read more