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Big success for low-price tag ploy

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NAMITA PANDA   |     |   Published 15.02.11, 12:00 AM

Jugal Kishore Dutta with his Galpa Sankalan at the Bhubaneswar book fair. Telegraph picture

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 14: Writer Jugal Kishore Dutta’s annual compilation of short stories titled Galpa Sankalan has been able to create an impact ever since its birth 27 years ago. The popularity of this booklet, which includes stories by some of the most renowned authors of the state, also owes to its Rs 5 price tag.

Dutta, who is known for his prolific writing on the present day lifestyle of the state, is the winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award

The concept of this tiny booklet, a collection of seven short stories, came to Dutta during his visit to the Calcutta Book Fair in 1985.

“I noticed that the concept of little magazines were immensely popular among the readers there. Thousands of magazines and compilations of works of the famous authors were being sold as booklets at a small price,” said the octogenarian author.

“Here when all authors had come together to start the Bhubaneswar Book Fair around the same time, I decided to bring an annual short story collection at a low price to attract readers to the exhibition,” he said.

He had priced the first compilation at Rs 2 and over the years, the price has risen to just Rs 5. On the first occasion, Dutta had brought out 1,000 copies of which 600 were sold. “Thus I thought to reduce the number to 500,” he said.

Today, Galpa Snakalan is much sought after at the Bhubaneswar Book Fair and all its copies were sold off by the first week of the fair.

“I wanted to bag a copy of the book not only for its low price, but also because it includes works of Bibhuti Patnaik, Barendra Krushna Dhal and many more,” said Sabita Das, a reader.

“As the stall selling the compilation is always situated at the same spot, it was easy to locate it and pick up a copy before all copies got sold,” said Prajapati Nayak.

This year’s edition of Galpa Sankalan has stories of Bibhuti Patnaik, Bijay Krushna Mohanty, Barendra Krushna Dhal, Das Benhur, Khirod Das, Sunanda Pradhan and a story by Dutta himself.

It is a small step towards encouraging Oriya readership, but writer Jugal Kishore Dutta’s annual compilation of short stories Galpa Sankalan, has been able to create a strong impact ever since its birth 27 years ago. The popularity of this booklet that includes stories by some of the most renowned authors of the state is owing to its trivial price of Rs 5.

Dutta, who is known for his prolific writing on the present day lifestyle of the state, is a Central Sahitya Akademi Award and Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award winner. The concept of this tiny booklet, a collection of seven short stories, came to Dutta during his visit to the Calcutta Book Fair in 1985.

“I noticed that the concept of little magazines were immensely popular among readers there. Thousands of magazines and compilations of the works of famous authors were being sold as little booklets at a very small price,” reminisces the octogenarian. “When all of authors got together to start the Bhubaneswar Book Fair around the same time, I decided to bring an annual short story collection during the exhibition, that would be priced low to attract readers,” he says.

He had priced the first compilation at Rs 2 and over the years, the price has risen to just Rs 5. Dutta had brought out 1,000 copies the first year out of which 600 sold. “Thus I thought to reduce the number of copies to 500 pieces,” he says.

Today the Galpa Snakalan is a sought after book at the Bhubaneswar Book Fair and all its copies get sold off by the first week of the fair. “I make sure I get a copy of this book since it is not only priced so low but has a great collection that includes the works of authors Bibhuti Patnaik, Barendra Krushna Dhal and many more,” says Sabita Das, a reader. “The stall is always situated at the same spot and that helps us to locate it and get a copy before they get over,” says Prajapati Nayak, another reader.

This year’s edition has the stories of Bibhuti Patnaik, Bijay Krushna Mohanty, Barendra Krushna Dhal, Das Benhur, Khirod Das, Sunanda Pradhan and a story by Dutta himself.

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