Winner: BE (West) Sarbojanin Durgotsav Committee
Why: This is the fourth time that the block has bagged this award, keeping up its track record of reaching the puja souvenir at every resident’s doorstep before start of the puja — a rarity by Salt Lake standards. The souvenir carries a significant number of articles too from residents (including a prize-winning one), which proves that the timely publication has not meant a compromise with editorial content.
Winner: CA-Block Citizens’ Association
Why: One look at the souvenir, bound in an unusual landscape mode, pleases the eye on one hand and inspires a feeling of reverence on the other. The warm colours in the photograph are in sync with those in the pattern that frames it. The bright and colourful block stands out against the soft lemon yellow backdrop. The fonts chosen are also in keeping with the traditional look.
Special mention: DL Block Residents’ Association
Winner: Kumkum Chattopadhyay of A2/11, East Enclave Co-operative Housing Society, New Town, for Chhayateer
Why: The story deals with a woman protagonist and her two friends, their changing equations as she gets married, the husband who fails to bond with her emotionally and how after losing both her friends she finally discovers marital love, years after her son has been born. The characters take on new shades as campus friendship spills over to romance and the exuberance of innocence gets tempered by the onslaught of experience. The story is the work of a mature hand. No surprises there as this is the fourth time that the author has made it to the Super Souvenir honours list.
Special mention: Shipra Chowdhury of BE 163 for Mahatejoskriyo Deuriya
Winner: Narayan Dhar Chowdhury of Flat A/12, East Enclave Co-operative Housing Society, New Town, for Jeeban Theke Neya
Why: When truth is more fascinating than fiction then all a factual account needs is the support of a lucid style and racy prose to hook the reader, which is the case here. The doctor from New Town has dipped his pen in the pot of memories and come up with a collage of thrilling encounters with the stark reality of life as a medical officer in district hospitals. The don who plots to kill the child he plays with, the kabuliwallah taking shelter from goons in the labour room, the lunatic vagrant with a heart of gold are all characters from an unfamiliar world who are introduced to us. And in the process, the account also holds up a mirror to the reasons why government doctors are loathe to be posted in the districts.
Special mention: Manjusri Dutta of CB 23 for Paroma Paroshyo
Winner: Chandana Gupta, president, puja committee, DA Block Residents’ Association
Why: The intimate image of Durga perceived as a daughter of the family coming home is deftly captured in the article. The conversational retelling of mythological tales progresses to unexpectedly encompass the latest Puja fashion trends and finds a fitting denouement in an appeal to DA Block residents to get ready for the four days of festivity. Given that the final bit is all that the run-of-the-mill editorials do, the piece is like a breath of fresh air.
Special mention: Narayan Basu, president, CB Block Welfare Association
Winner: Sarbani Banerjee of B 2/12, East Enclave Co-operative Housing Society, New Town, for Eibaar Saatbaar Chhandopatan Holo
Why: The bouquet of seven short poems is powerful in conception as well as imagery. Special mention may be made of the section on women, comprising two images — one of a widow and the other of a girl up in the bridal market. One is in white and the other presented “wrapped in chocolate foil”. Disparate in status and appearance, both ironically are victims of social apathy.
Special mention: Sunirmal Kundu of BJ 322 for Abishangbadi hoye otha and Sweety Sharma of D 4/3, East Enclave Co-operative Housing Society, New Town, for Shishumon
Results based on entries received
The Telegraph Salt Lake Super Souvenir 2011
Kudos to DL Block Residents’ Association for making it three on the trot as champion. A classy cover and good binding let them score on first impression. Discipline of editorial thought is perceived in the inclusion of an index with the articles clustered under specific genres. There is an attempt at inclusiveness in the way the schedule of rituals has been printed in English as well. Documentation is a strong point of this souvenir, be it through photographs of the year-round activities of residents or the achievements of neighbours or the lists of past office-bearers down the 27 years of the association’s existence. Instead of sitting on its laurels, the block has tried to improve its showing by adding jokes as fillers, a section on yoga and another on puzzles. Tributes have been paid to Rabindranath Tagore and Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy on their 150th birth anniversaries. Dedicating four pages to stamps is a laudable idea as it brings to the fore an enriching hobby almost forgotten by today’s children.