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Book Review: Apna Utsav by Purnendu Ghosh

Apna Utsav by Purnendu Ghosh is an admirable nostalgic memoir cum semi-autobiography. The book is slightly long and stretches up to 300 pages. The book is about the author, he vividly brings forth his life’s phases and events right from the birth to up till now, at the age of seventy. Right at the beginning, the author says: Apna Utsav begins the day one is born. It continues even when one is gone.


The title Apna Utsav means personal celebrations and ceremonies of life. In this book the author mainly brings good memories of his life from childhood to old age. His take on life is not void, rather it’s full of wisdom and experience.

The author introduces his family tree, parents, upbringing, foreign sojourns, achievements, his finicky mental state, relationship with wife and children and much more. The book gains philosophical pattern when the author tangentially sheds light on arts, cinema, country, freedom, education, and so on. Like a veteran narrator, first he starts with his story, and then shifts to a general tone to reach a wider base of audience.

The author Purnendu Ghosh so far has a fantastic life. He got full support of his parents, siblings, wife, and children. In many chapters, he remembers all of them from time and again. It was quite sentimental when his boss at Mysore was crying when he left for IIT Delhi to pursue his PHD. Though P. Ghosh remained glued to his family but his attachment to his teachers and mentors is commendable. Like a true student, he never ignored and forgot them. Also, one of the reasons is that he himself got into teaching profession after some stints in private companies.

He did his schooling and engineering while staying at Kanpur, which is also his native town, where his parents were firmed. He lived mainly in Kanpur, Jaipur, and Delhi…but his Bengali roots got strengthened after his marriage to a hundred percent Bengali girl. He fondly remembers how he would miss his wife while away in Europe. He wanted her to be with him in a paradisiacal romantic place like Europe but he regrets now in the book. Yet overall he did a great job for his family and later on he took them to Germany and Australia.

The author was growing up when life in India was quite simple and devoid of so-called modern gadgets. Life was simply superb in those days, bunking school for theatre movies, and waiting for songs on radio. Amazing to remember such things today. Certainly down the memory lanes, P. Ghosh is quite a nostalgic personality.

The book has many perspectives; it takes us to the journey called life. His stance on jobs and study and highlighting the importance of education, healthcare, etc. is worth noting.

P. Ghosh chronicles his life events in as much as clarity as he could. Overall, it’s a great book for people who have seen a lot in their tenure. And for sure the author’s generation can look up to this book as a resource full of wisdom, knowledge, sacrifices, history, and what not.

On a high note, it’s commendable that the author relied on a simple technique of narration. He didn’t confuse with verbosity, nor there redundancy. In fact Mr. Ghosh should come up with a collection of short stories as his life is full of anecdotes and he knows how to connect the dots in life.

Buy from Amazon India.

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