Published: 05th February 2020
Meet the people behind Bibliophiles of Bhubaneswar, Odisha's lit, new reading club
Bibliophiles of Bhubaneswar is a non-profit initiative based out of Bhubaneswar and is run by three passionate individuals. They don't charge participants to attend their sessions
They might have conducted only five to six sessions so far but the book club Bibliophiles of Bhubaneswar (BoB) has surely left a mark. It was started in July 2018 by the young trio Bijaya Biswal, Sanchita Dwivedi and Kshirabdhi Tanaya Patra because they could find no place where they could go and discuss an interesting book after they have read it. And they started the club solely to encourage the habit of reading. "We weren't particular that we had to discuss only books. We even read poems or excerpts from articles," says Sanchita. It was in August 2018 that their very first session was held in association with the Bhubaneswar Pride Parade at the Bakul Library, Chandrasekharpur, for which they curated an entire section that was dedicated to queer literature. That's a great start, we think.
They want to conduct at least two to three sessions before the month of June
Another noted session that BoB conducted was called A Brief History of Feminism for which they collaborated with the Bhubaneswar Poetry Club and UN Women. Most recently, they collaborated with the Indian Film Festival of Bhubaneswar and conducted sessions on democracy and dissent. "Both Bijaya and I are in the final year of our college, so conducting monthly sessions becomes a little difficult," confesses 21-year-old Sanchita. Nonetheless, these discussions, she asserts, are important because it's easy to remain quiet when one is privileged, but now is the time to speak up.
"We never expected that the book club would garner the kind of response it did," says the student of BJB College, Bhubaneswar, who is pursuing English Literature. She also adds that it is always a good time to start reading, even if the current generation might not have the patience to read. She even hints at the possibility of the three of them going their separate ways as they are in their last year and that they might conduct sessions only when they come visiting. "It's still an 'if' but irrespective of that, we are proud of what we have done," she says.
The duo conducting the session | (Pic: BoB)
Now, you might think that with similar events happening across the country, venues come easy, but they don't, Sanchita asserts, and shares that while cafés charge for gatherings, parks are full of mosquitoes and are not always well-lit. Despite these shortcomings, they have continued to thrive and we hope, for the love of books, they continue doing so.
Ideal authors to read in book clubs, as per Sanchita:
- Gabriel García Márquez: For his timelessness
- Ramchandra Guha: Because we must all know our history
- Audre Lorde, Fatima Asghar and so on as well
For more on them, check out bit.ly/3b62K8F