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Book release

Artist Debashis Deb’s travel tales captured in pictorial book

'Beranor Diary', a notebook-sized compilation of illustrations, was released by Read Bengali Bookstore on December 31

Saurav Roy | Published 05.01.23, 05:41 PM
Debashis Deb flanked by his wife (second from left), professor Dipankar Ghosh (fourth from left) and other guests at the book launch

Debashis Deb flanked by his wife (second from left), professor Dipankar Ghosh (fourth from left) and other guests at the book launch

All images by Saurav Roy

When holidays are incomplete without selfies and everyone is a self-styled photographer, Debashis Deb, artist and avid traveller, captures moments and memories through his illustrations.

Beranor Diary, a notebook-sized compilation of illustrations from Deb’s travels across the world, was launched at Read Bengali Bookstore on December 31.


“The habit of drawing pictures of a place has been in vogue for long. For me, there’s a huge difference between drawing within the confinement of a room and drawing under the skies. In the open air, many factors come into play. They include unfamiliar surroundings, unknown people, climatic factors, travel fatigue among others,” Deb said.

Book cover of 'Beranor Diary'

Book cover of 'Beranor Diary'

“I am happy that I managed to do this for such a long time especially when my contemporaries have not worked much in this genre. In my attempt to capture a place in my sketches, I have, time and again, made multiple visits to the same place till I am satisfied with my illustrations,” the artist said.

Deb thanked friends and colleagues for their constant encouragement. “My associates have watched my works closely, dissected the same, discussed and in the process encouraged me to upgrade myself. The depth in my works is largely attributed to the interest they took in my work,” he said.

What necessitated this book

Deb’s previous book, though quite popular, became unavailable after the publishing house shut down. “I felt the need to work on another book so that I could reach many others through my work,” said Deb. “I put my heart and soul in every project and my zeal for perfection, I suppose, is reflected in my endeavour. “

Lauding Deb’s efforts, Pritam Sengupta, director of Bhasha Venture Pvt Ltd, the cornerstone of ‘’ stated that the store basically caters to Bengali books and Bengali merchandise. Launched in 2018, the aim has always been to promote Bengali books and literature. “Publishing Beranor Diary was a renewed focus on Debashis Deb for us. The book, a travelogue with sketches, holds special importance as Deb did all the illustrations on-the-spot and live.”

Pritam Sengupta, director of Bhasha Venture Pvt Ltd

Pritam Sengupta, director of Bhasha Venture Pvt Ltd

Importance of word play and his inspiration

While his “brush” with his passion continues, Deb realised that everything cannot be “depicted” through sketches. Words are required, too.

“That is why I have written about the scenes and made no attempt to ‘decorate’ my texts with difficult words. I am happy with simple expressions which rightly describe my vision, my experience and desires,” Deb said. “My inspiration is Bengali writer, journalist, travel enthusiast, academic scholar and linguist Syed Mujtaba Ali. His style of being the protagonist but always keeping himself in the shadows is what I have always done in my works. The many anecdotes that I mention in the book are all gathered from the numerous trips I have made all over the country as a common man with a deep desire to experience life in real terms.”

How it all started

During his first trek in 1999 when he was in his forties, Deb came across a book written by a doctor who was part of a mountaineering expedition. The book had simple notes and sketches and as Deb flipped through, he felt that he could do something similar. Having gone on the trek with a small notebook, Deb began his mission which ultimately became his passion.

“Since then, travel has become secondary to me while the urge to illustrate the world that emerges before me has been my primary goal. Though I wanted to chase my passion, I had other obligations in life too. Gradually, my passion has turned into an addiction,” Deb said.

What others said

Dipankar Ghosh

Dipankar Ghosh

"Deb began with a simple sketch book. His continued efforts have brought him to this threshold. His illustrations are characterised by his eye for detail. Utmost simplicity characterises his works. His publishers must also be acknowledged for having successfully retained the ambience, colours and the details that are often compromised when such works are published."

Dipankar Ghosh, assistant professor, physics, Serampore College

Tuhin Kanti Mukherjee

Tuhin Kanti Mukherjee

"Generations have grown up on Deb’s visuals and drawings. He has been instrumental in developing the reader's imagination through his creations. Privileged to have been associated with the creative process of the book, I would like to call it a painting and a collection of stories which are being presented as a travelogue. It rightly encompasses an entirely new chapter of Debashis Deb, the creative genius."

Tuhin Kanti Mukherjee, green consultant at ‘Love thy nature’ – ‘ReadBengalibooks’ venture at Kasba

"Deb has been one of the best artists our city has seen. We have been witnessing his prolific art for a long time. His illustrations and humorous cartoons have always had a loyal patronage. Beranor Diary is not his first travelogue, but a lovely compendium of some of his many adventures. It is beautifully illustrated and a must-read for not only his numerous fans, but also for those who want to know more about travelling. It (the book) comprises astounding artwork done on-the-spot with watercolours which also shows the artist's knack for capturing his subject."

Harsho Mohan Chattoraj, Illustrator and comic artist

Last updated on 05.01.23, 05:43 PM

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