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‘Cartoon poetry’ book released

Jan. 3: A cartoonist here hit upon a novel idea — to unite the language of cartoons with poems — and the result was released in the form a book.

Cartoonist Nituparna Rajbongshi joined hands with six Assamese poets to bring out a book, Rekhare Kothare (With lines and words), containing poems penned around his creations.

Poets Samir Tanti, Nilim Kumar, Saurabh Saikia, Pankaj Gobinda Medhi, Jogen Taid and Pranab Kumar Barman have written five poems each on Rajbongshi’s cartoons, making the book a unique combination of cartoons and poems.

The book, an attempt to popularise cartoons, has come at a time when almost all cartoons in the state are confined to the pages of newspapers and magazines. Hardly three Assamese cartoon collections have hit the market so far.

“Any theme can be turned into poetry. After receiving the cartoons from Rajbongshi, I started writing poems with the feeling that cartoons and poems are very close to each other,” said Saurav Saikia. He said he was happy seeing his poems along with the cartoons.

He said he had changed his technique to write the poems in the book. “Some readers have even called me up about the changes. But sometimes, we need to change the way we write.”

Poet Pankaj Gobinda Medhi said when a poem was written based on a cartoon, the ideas behind the cartoon and the poem may not synchronise totally. “I wrote the poems from what came to my mind on seeing the cartoons. I carried the cartoons inside my mind and let the subject to go deeper till words came out spontaneously to make me write the poems,” he said, adding it was a new venture and readers would decide whether it had been a success.

“The relationship between paintings and cartoons is very old but I wondered whether cartoons could be brought closer to poetry. I discussed the matter with the poets, who were very enthusiastic about the idea. The book is just an experiment,” Rajbongshi said. “We have included social and political cartoons, some of which touch the issue of ecological conservation.”