Author Anjana Basu with film-maker Rituparno Ghosh and her nephew at the launch of her book, Chinku and the Wolfboy at Oxford Bookstore, Park Street on February 26. Picture by Aranya Sen
Ten-year-old Rahul Dey had requested his aunt Anjana Basu to write a book for him on his eighth birthday. “You’re an author. So why can’t I have a book of my own as a gift?’ he had asked.
The request went unattended at the time, but Basu, an advertising professional who was one of the dialogue-writers for Rituparno Ghosh’s The Last Lear, found time to write a book for children.
Recalls Basu: “Rahul’s mother wanted me to help him with English grammar. I asked him how he wanted to go about it. He said that he wanted to write a story about werewolves.” Basu laid down a condition: they would both write the story separately and compare notes in the end. While Rahul stopped midway, Basu continued her story that culminated in the 210-page book, Chinku and the Wolfboy.
The book, for kids of eight to 14 years of age, revolves around eight-year-old Chinku who sees her village being attacked by the King of Kalabash and his Shadow Armies.
“The King collects memories of the villagers. Chinku takes it upon herself to save her village with the help of her friend Nick, who can turn into a werewolf. Together, they go to Kalabash to get back the memories,” said Basu, who has authored two other novels, Curses In Ivory and Black Tongue. This is her first attempt at writing for children.
Director Rituparno Ghosh released the book at Oxford Bookstore, Park Street, on February 26, followed by a reading session by Daleep and Mira Kakkar of the Kathakars.
Ghosh said that Basu and he had been friends for a long time and had bonded over their wish for young companionship. “She expresses it through her interaction with her nephews and nieces. I hope that this child remains alive in both of us,” he said.
Cagers on the court
Aditya Academy Senior Secondary School, Barasat, organised an inter-school basketball competition from March 10 to 13. Eight boys’ teams and six girls’ teams participated in the competition, including Chetla Boys’ High School, Chetla Girls’ High School and Khalsa High School.
The teams comprised players from classes IX to XII. The Chetla Boys’ and Khalsa Boys’ team qualified for the finals, with the former emerging as winners among boys. In the girls’ section, Rani Rashmoni High School won after a tough fight with Chetla Girls. Rukmini Chhetri of Rani Rashmoni High School and Vivekananda Das of Chetla Boys’ received the best player trophy in the girls’ and boys’ section, respectively.
“These tournaments encourage us to put more effort into games,” said Jayanti Banerjee, a Class XII student of Aditya Academy, Barasat.
“Winning for the school team is always a happy achievement,” said Kaushik Biswas, a Class XII student of Chetla Boys’.