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গ্রন্থপরিচয় Σ5 Ο ΟΦι people. They have the freshness of youth. Before I had written these short stories there was not anything of that type in Bengali literature. No doubt Bankimchandra had written some stories but they were of a romantic type; mine were full of the temperament of the village people. There was the rural atmosphere about them. So when I re-read these short stories of mine, many of which I have forgotten— unfortunately I haven't got a good memory; I sometimes forget what I wrote yesterday— they bring back to me vividly the beautiful atmosphere of these earlier short stories. There is a note of universal appeal in them, for man is the same everywhere. My later stories haven't got that freshness, that tenderness of earlier stories. Mr. Sudarshan: Did you get some characters of your stories from living individuals? The Poet: Yes, some of the characters were suggested by living individuals. For example, the character of the boy in my story ‘Chhuti" was suggested by a boy in a village. I then imagined what would happen to this loving and sensitive boy if he were taken to Calcutta for his education and made to live in an unsympathetic atmosphere of a family with her aunt. That was the background. Mr. Chandra Gupta: Which of your stories do you consider as the best of the lot? The Poet replied smilingly: No, I cannot say that. There are several varieties of them. The Poet went on to describe how free and how very full of joy were those days by the riverside in his youth with such cnthusiasm and tenderness that the hearers were transferred in their imagination to those lovely rural scenes where everything was simple and joyful. Another story, the Poet continued, had its origin in the village life: I actually saw the girl of the type, described in the story, in a village. She was quite wild and extraordinary. There was nobody to restrain her freedom. She used to watch me every day from a distance and sometimes she brought a child with her and with finger pointed towards me she used to show me to the child. Day after day she came. Then one day she didn't come. That day I overheard the talk of the village women who had come to fetch water from the river. (96.