Birutjatio Sahitya Sammilani
Translated from Bengali by Somdatta Mandal
This translation from Bengali of Ms. Chitrita Devi’s travelogue Onek Sagar Periye is a collection of seven different segments of her travel to the West. In April 1947 Chitrita, along with her husband and daughter, set sail for England. The first two sections, titled ‘Prelude’ and ‘Towards Sunset’ narrates her trip and sea voyage to England and her visit to London. In the third section ‘English Village and English City’ we get descriptions of the English countryside and her stay at the city of Bristol. ‘Paris by Motor Car’ comprises of the fourth segment. Travelling in Helvetia/Switzerland follows next. ‘The International Writers Meet in Vienna’ where Chitrita goes to represent India as the Vice-chairperson of PEN, West Bengal is the content of the sixth travelogue. As the title suggests, the final section ‘The River Nile and the Pyramids’ is about her visit to Egypt. As a middle class Bengali lady her exposure and experiences in these foreign shores are interesting to read. Also throughout the narrative the female gaze of the traveller especially draws the reader’s attention.
This travelogue will be of interest for all readers in general and for women’s studies scholars in particular.