Shanta Maria is a promising poet, essayist, novelist, playwright, and rhymist- all at once. As a granddaughter of Dr Muhammad Shahidullah, passion for literature is in her blood.
Through her innate flair of writing, the prominent journalist cum writer has carved a special niche in the minds of Bengali bibliophiles.
With a total of 12 books to her credit, the born author has been creating buzzes among bookworms of the country for over three and a half decades.
The brilliant word wizard has found great name as a wordsmith by weaving garlands of verses in a short span of her writing career.
The versatile talent created a stir among Bengali bibliophiles by coming up with her first titled when she was only nine year older.
The prodigy of Bengali literature recently opened up about her writing life with Md Enamul Hassan of daily sun.
How are you
I am fine, and hope you are all doing great.
Did you go to Ekushey book fair this year?
Yes, I try to go to the fair almost every day as my mind is on the fair for all time.
Do you have brought out any book this time?
Two books of mine have been published in the fair. Paribar Publications has brought out my essay collection styled Sahitye Parakia Ebong Annanya.
BDnews24 Publications has published another book Chak Bazar to China, which is a travelogue.
What is the story behind the name of the essay collection?
I have written an essay compiling and analyzing stories of adulteries in world and Bengali literatures and that was published on BDnews24.com as Sahitye Parakia.
The article has created a stir among Bengali bibliophiles at home and abroad that time.
As I have compiled 25 more articles alongside with Sahitye Parakia, I have named the book as Sahitye Parakia Ebong Annanya.
What are the subject-matters of other articles?
The rest 25 articles depict different contemporary issues including human rights, women and children rights, and literature and liberation war of Bangladesh.
All the articles were published in different media and won wider admirations of readers from across the world.
What is the theme of the travelogue?
My travelogue Chak Bazar to China has incorporated the memories of my travel to China. I spent one year in China as a journalist and that experience has been depicted in the travelogue.
I tried my best to make my memoirs in china come alive for readers in the book by going through detailed articulation of Chinese fair, festival and culture.
The panoramic view of different tourist spots including natural treasures—hills, forests, seas, rivers—and cities with the most skyscrapers have come alive in the travelogue.
As I am a girl from Chak Bazar of Old Dhaka, I have named the book as Chak Bazar to China. Earlier, the travelogue was published in Risingbd.com by installments.
Why do you write?
Firstly, I write as I do enjoy writing. Secondly I write out of my sense of responsibility to society.
I think it’s my duty to let my society know what I think about different issues. From the very thinking I try to take up my pen to reach my opinion to the countrymen.
How did you start writing?
I have got into literature even when I couldn’t know how to write and read. I started compose poetry in my mouth when I was just three year older.
What is your future plan?
I am writing a novel set in China besides translating Chinese literature in Bengali.
How did you feel while receiving Ekushey Padak for your father?
My father, Muhammad Takiullah who is the fourth son of the Bengali linguist Muhammad Shahidullah, was a language hero.
I really felt honoured to receive the award for him. Especially, when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told me that she is a reader of my write-ups, I was really overwhelmed.
What would you like to say for your readers?
I am so much grateful to my valued readers as they taken me here where I am today with their fathomless love.
I hope they will continue their support in the future as well and I will also try to present them with special write-ups every time.
My humble request to readers that they continue reading and buying books as book is the real best friend of a human.