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Boi Mela

 


Daya Dissanayake

Bilingual Writer & Poet

Galle, Sri Lanka

Every year he dreamt of visiting

Kolkata boi mela

he checked air fares

train fares

and made his travel plans.

 

This year

he saved a little money

to buy all the books he could

at the international book fair

in his own home city.

 

First day he would look at all the books

next day he could select the books he wanted

on the third day

buy what he could

with the money he had saved.

 

SARS-CoV-2

pandemic panic

shattered his dreams.

 

With the money he saved

he bought food

for a few starving children

whose parents had lost their daily earnings.

 

He discovered

the Vishva Boi Mela

in cyberspace

where he could read

for free

enough books

to last several lifetimes

and meet

the writers and readers

from around the world

always

at any time.