Journey through the Agartala Book Fair 2024

By Bhutia and Geda

March 2, 2024

Step into a world of wonder at the 4th Agartala Book Fair, themed “Bhavya Bharat,” where the air is perfumed with the scent of fresh pages and the promise of captivating stories waiting to be explored. With doors open daily from 2:30 PM to 9:00 PM, my sister and I eagerly ventured into this literary haven, anticipating a day filled with enchantment and discovery.

Our adventure began at Block D, where Harper’s Collins awaited with its enchanting collection of tales. Amidst the neatly aligned books, we were drawn into a heartwarming scene—a young girl, her eyes aglow with wonder, utterly captivated by a book titled “Best Classic Short Stories for Children.” As she turned each page adorned with vibrant illustrations, her infectious excitement filled the air, reminding us of the timeless magic of storytelling.

Snippets of a day at the Agartala Book Fair 2024. Picture courtesy Bhutia, Geda, and Bikash Debbarma

Leaving Block D behind, we delved deeper into the maze of stalls, each offering its own unique treasures. Our attention was immediately captured by a stall adorned with colourful displays of children’s books. From beloved classics like “Adventures of Tintin” to cultural gems like “Amar Chitra Katha,” the shelves beckoned with promises of adventure and imagination.

Amidst the sea of books, we stumbled upon the perfect addition to our collection—a book of Jataka Tales, its pages steeped in ancient wisdom and captivating narratives. As we continued to explore, we couldn’t help but be enchanted by the sight of young readers around us, their faces alive with curiosity and imagination as they delved into the pages of their favourite stories.

As the day progressed, the fair came alive with activity, the aisles bustling with eager visitors. Among the newer additions were Japanese manga, reflecting the evolving tastes of readers and the diverse landscape of storytelling. Intrigued by the suggestion to visit stalls like Kokborok Tei Hukumu Mission and Khumpui Bijap Karima Nok for Kokborok books, we made a note to ensure a diverse and enriching experience of vernacular literature primarily folk tales of the region.

The crowd that filled the fairgrounds was as diverse as the stories themselves—families enjoying a leisurely outing, grandparents passing down cherished tales to their grandchildren, and book enthusiasts of all ages seeking their next literary escape. Amidst the laughter and chatter, there was a palpable sense of unity and joy in the shared love of stories.

But the Agartala Book Fair was more than just books—it was a celebration of creativity and expression in all its forms. From vibrant alpana paintings to intricate watercolours, the stalls dedicated to art and painting offered a glimpse into a world where imagination knew no bounds. Everywhere we looked, there were sketch artists capturing portraits, mascots entertaining children, food carts offering tempting treats, and crowds of visitors capturing moments with selfies.

As the day drew to a close and we reluctantly bid farewell to the fairgrounds, we couldn’t help but feel grateful for the unforgettable experiences it had offered us. From heartwarming encounters to enchanting discoveries, the Agartala Book Fair was a reminder of the enduring power of stories to inspire, connect, and uplift us all. In a world often filled with chaos and uncertainty, the fair stood as a beacon of joy, creativity, and the timeless magic of storytelling.

Bhutia and Geda are sisters bound by a love for adventure, thrive on exploring the world together, seeking excitement around every corner.

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18 thoughts on “Journey through the Agartala Book Fair 2024”

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