Written by: Afrina Asad
Youth Policy Forum (YPF), a policy advocacy platform for young people, hosted the first episode of their new series “Shahittyo Adda” on February 4, 2022 to shed light on current writers as they discussed literature and its peripheral areas. Through this series, YPF aims to connect young people with writers and kindle their interest and love for literature. Prominent author Ahmad Mostofa Kamal was invited as the guest on the first episode and it was hosted by literary personality, Shuhan Rizwan. The episode started with an anecdote of the guest’s reading habits as he reflected on how it helped him begin his journey as a successful writer.
The entire episode was a blissful and nostalgic walkthrough of Kamal’s lifelong memories and experiences from his journey with literature. Several national and international writers, like Akhteruzzam Elias, Mahmudul Haque, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, Bibhutibhushon Bondyopadhyay, deeply influenced his thought process, perspectives, and expressions.
Kamal beautifully shared that there’s an invisible and deep connection between young writers and those who passed away. Deceased writers exist through their words, works and books. They convey their inheritance of unfinished work and an inner message to experience the world with different perspectives from one generation to another. He metaphorically exclaimed that former writers secretly communicate with young writers and influence them to continue their legacy.
The discussion went on for about an hour where both the writers discussed their memories with different prominent writers, their books, sharing valuable insights for aspiring writers as well as readers, current communicative media, and issues. The episode was thoroughly enjoyable as Rizwan asked brilliant questions to steer the discussion while Kamal shared his charismatic responses. At one point he also asserted that there are loyal readers that writers can rely on, even in this era of communication. Those passionate readers, unlike the trendy ones, can verify the authenticity of information because of which writers would remain honest as well. Relating to what he said earlier about writers, readers can also convey their inheritance by connecting writers with another generation of readers.
YPF plans to hold more episodes throughout the month of February where they would invite more writers to share their valuable experiences and insights. The other episodes, just like the first one, will be held on Fridays.
The conversation between two writers had wonderful insights that could connect readers of a wide range of ages in one place to appreciate literature and its art in our surroundings. Such conversations remind us of the importance of communication in different forms. The episode ended with Kamal emphasising the same topic. “In order to combat recent issues of loneliness and minimise the distance in relationships, people should communicate more and more. No matter how we try to interact on electronic media, there is no alternative to meeting people face to face,” he concluded.
Written by Afrina Asad, a first-year student of Economics at Dhaka University.