The Indian philellene (fot.)
INTERVIEW WITH ANKUR KUMAR CHAKRABORTY
অঙ্কুর কুমার চক্রবর্তী
Ankur Kumar Chakraborty comes from the very far region of Bengal (India) and, as an admirer of ancient Greece and its civilization, wrote a book narrating the campaign of Alexander the Great.
It is very interesting to see the point of view of an Indian writer that has a lot to say.
The Indian philellene
M.G.N.: Tell us Mr Chakraborty about your recent book regarding Alexander the Great.
A.K.CH.: The book is named “PHILIP TONOY” (Son of Philip), and as you can guess quite easily that it denotes Alexander The Great, who I’ve grown up almost to the point of idolizing since I was merely six. So, it felt like I should give him a tribute, and what better way of writing a book on his life? There’ve been many books, especially historical novels on his life but this one’s definitely one of a kind since this is the first novel in Bengali on his life and that too it’s written entirely typed in a mobile phone over the period of one and a half year.
M.G.N.: What inspired you to write this book?
A.K.CH.: As I mentioned earlier that I’ve been inspired by the Macedonian Emperor since I was six, it can be said that the inspiration behind this is none else but Alexander himself . Though in the last decade I’ve tried quite a lot of times to write on his life, but it took me finally some real effort to get the thing done in the end.
M.G.N.: What signifies for you Greece and the Greek civilization?
A.K.CH.: The resilience, the fighting spirit. The never say die attitude, which we all had seen in the 2004 Euro campaign by the Hellenic football team, and of course the helpful nature of the people here in Greece from the moment I landed here signifies the Greek civilization and the form it’s in right now. Apart from that it’s perhaps the gift the Greeks have been carrying since the Minoan days.
M.G.N.: What are your thoughts over the encounter of the Greek and the Indian civilizations during the hellenistic era starting with the campaign of Alexander the Great?
A.K.CH.: Actually there are two contrasting aspects here. Firstly, Alexander’s campaign has become a significant part of our history and stuff of legends here in the Northern and eastern provinces of India, giving rise to the MOST populous form of democracy, which in itself was a Greek contribution.
Secondly, in making Alexander a sort of semi legendary figure, we seem to have forgotten his contribution and kept him confined to mere footnote in our history books.
M.G.N.: Do you have any plans to write another book about Greece in general in the future?
A.K.CH.: So far only two volumes of my Books have been published. The third and final instalment is in the pipelines, to be published either this August or Next January around Kolkata Book Fair 2023. But, on my return, I’ll definitely put down my experience of the Greek sojourn in pen and paper.
M.G.N.: Do you have a message about our Greek audience?
A.K.CH.: We Bengalis and Greeks share very much the same passion for maritime activities and a taste for both history and seafood. But to experience Bengal, I urge my Greek audience to come to Bengal at least once in their lives. Not only for the Bengal Tigers and the marshlands of the Sunderbans, but also to see the lands Alexander thought to be the ends of the world, but as we know his dreams of reaching here couldn’t find the light of the day.
In the end, I’ll say JOY BANGLA (Glory to Bengal) and ZITW ELLADA
PHOTOS FROM THE COMIC BOOK: