Kolkata pays tribute to poet too young to die

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 13, 2012 11:44 hrs

He did not live to see the day, but in a posthumous tribute to a young talent of the city, litterateurs and celebrities of Kolkata gathered at a solemn book release function on Wednesday to gift the world verses that Riju Basak had penned before he bid final goodbye at age 17 this year.

A Bunch of Lies, the first and perhaps the last book of poetry from late poet and student of Class XI of La Martiniere School, Rhiju Basak, was launched at the Oxford Book store here in association with Fine Prints.

The book was launched by poet and novelist Sunil Gangopadhay while social activists and fashion designers Agnimitra Paul and Sharbari Dutta were present at the function on Rhuju's 18th birthday.

Principal of La Martiniere School, Sunirmal Chakraborty, besides Riju´s parents, friends and relatives made the book release a touching occasion.

The book comprises 158 verses like Fact, Fiction and Cigarette, Heartbreak Station, Amen, Ochena Belar Alo, Blood and Concrete etc which were edited by the teachers of his school.

Rhiju died mysteriously- seemingly he committed suicide- in Feb this year. He was then a student of humanities in La Martiniere School.

Rhiju always dreamt to be a famous poet one day and he used to write poems since childhood. His talent made famous novelist Amitav Ghosh to write foreword for the teen poet's posthumas book.

Speaking at the launch, Sunil Gangopadhyay said, "It is a day of sadness and also a day of glory, we have lost a very talented young poet but his writings we will cherish for a very long time."

"As an editor of the magazine Krittvivas there are a lot of scrap writings I read regularly. But rarely I find a talented poet like Rhiju, who made think us about his messages from his poetry."

"Rhiju, the romantic, talented, intelligent poet would always remain fresh in the hearts of his readers with his remarkable verses in The Bunch of Lies," Gangopadhyay added.

Agnimtra Paul remembered the late teen poet reading out one of his poems titled "Without You" and celebrated the victory of a writer who is no more.

The principal of his school mentioned it was hard to understand how a young boy of 17 could write such poems inspired by darkness and deaths.

"Some people think perhaps he was deeply moved with the life of Jim Morrison," Sunirmal Chakraborty said.

The programme came to an end with the poetry, recited by Rhiju himself as a recorded file from one of his friends´ cell phone, that made all including his parents moved to tears.

(Reporting by Barshali Banerjee)

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