My Books & Memories.
There is no friend as loyal as a book.
— Ernest Hemingway
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01. Banglar Musalman
The book details the unsaid stories of the Bangla speaking Muslims of West Bengal. It also bares the poisonous religio-political threads with which this community is ensnared.
The papers compiled in this volume embrace all the nuances of the marginalization from theoretical aspects to linguistic, political, economical, gendered, cultural, societal, and daily living experiences.
03. Mis/Fit Parents
Misfit or bad parents abound in Faulkner. By applying the theory of parenting to Faulkner’s fictional parents, I attempt to unearth some crucial familial and social issues in Faulkner.
Rugged Terrain emerges from a storm-tossed, broken winged, caged singing bard.
Barring a few, the poems are more or less hued by my first hand experiences. The beauty and poverty of scenic Dooars loom large over them. Whether it is a man, a woman, a child, or a simple scene – all are seen and known with naked eyes during my long stay at Dooars.
Poems are simple and at the same time realistic, challenging, and thought provoking. And they are not meant to please the readers. Each poem is nuanced. Broadly each poem is a celebration of the faceless multitudes, the unheard, and the unsung. Each poem attests to their undying sufferings and their charismatic resilience to it.
Here the earth is black and empty. Poverty, squalor, illness, flesh trade, child labour, liquors, war for stomachs, illiteracy drape a deathly pallor to the sea blue skies, endless stretches of greeneries, dark hills and deep forests.
You find no mosaic of words or refined imagery. Poems are not flashy and insipid here. They are bold, cruel, crude, and savage in their pluralistic underlying thematic textures.
“Out beyond ideas/ of wrongdoing and rightdoing,/ there is a field./ I’ll meet you there,” so said Jalaluddin Rumi. Barring two or three, all the poems in Whispering Echoes are in search of such a ‘field’ – forests, hills, seas, rivers, farming lands, orchards, and open skies.
Figuratively Whispering Echoes echoes my heart’s deepest love and light, hope and wish, elation and exultation, longing for friendship and sacrifice. It is diametrically opposite to my debut Rugged Terrain in its themes and appeals. Here the land is forever soft, air is cool, grass green, trees dark, hills lovely, skies sea-blue, seas welcoming. There the land is rugged, parched, barren and bleak.
The poems are simple in structure and theme. Some are my response purely to Nature’s undying beauty and serenity. Some are musings on children, the aged, and the farmers. Others are on some intangible aspects of human life – love, friendship, brotherhood, sacrifice and death. It celebrates life in its rosy hues.
I believe true poetry emerges from our deepest delight and anguish. And while Whispering Echoes exults my elation and exhilaration, Rugged Terrain encapsulates my dark and dreary mood. Two volumes are, thus, basically what Blake calls “two contrary states of human soul.”
A Birdwatcher and Other Stories
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one was not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand,” said George Orwell in his essay Why I write (1946).
I don’t know whether a demon drives me or not to write A Birdwatcher and Other Stories. But all the stories are based on my firsthand experience. They are realistic. Characters are mainly from countryside. The settings are real. My unsung, peripheral fictional men and women include tribes people, mower, ambitious poet, widower, widowed, shoeshiner, station master, watchman, orphan, idler, peasant, broker, salesman, school master, book seller, fruit seller, dhaba owner, mason, jobless youth, bird watcher, drunker, prostitute, barber boy, misfits, vagabonds, invalids and the likes. These faceless men and women emerge from my deep love and gratitude to them. Their joys and sorrows fill my heart, and their resilience to life’s myriad trajectories and vicissitudes make my days bright and nights cool.
Each fictional piece has a unique message subtly entwined with the character’s temperament or attitude to life and her/ his response to certain unhappy circumstances. I never consciously attempt to make these twenty nine flashes pure or sacred ‘art’ pieces.
A Bird Watcher and Other Stories has twenty nine short fictions. Some are over just six hundred words and some under a thousand. Many of them have been published in national and international e-zines of repute.
Excerpt from :
“A Country Storyteller”
While serving tea the old man asserted with animation, “I can tell you thousand tales. But this is not the place. Come with me one night by the riverside, I tell you all.”
“Oh…no, I mean a sacred place, a calm and quiet place, a broad forest path, a river bed, a tipsy cottage amid the thickets, a barren field, an abandoned hut, a mango grove, a mud path canopied by clusters of stars, a marsh where frogs croak day and night, and fireflies dance . A place I need where the birds sing and fling, and monkeys chatter, but men not crawl. In such a pure place I tell tales, and you will be my sole listener. And my son, promise me not to interrupt. I tell and you listen. If you agree, come in the coming full moon night, and I tell tales you never imagine hearing in life.”
Excerpt from :
“The Shadow of a Dark Cloud”
“My mother’s belly was swollen all the years. We had many brothers and sisters, most of them died after birth. Only four survived—me, my elder sister, younger brother, and younger sister who was born after the marriage of my elder sister. I was then eight or nine years old. It was 1970, and Bangladesh was not born yet. News of fierce fighting gory communal clashes, riots, loots, rapes, arsons, deaths terribly shook us every single minute. It wasn’t that Muslims killing Hindus, Muslims killing Muslims also. The poor killing the rich, the Razakars killing the Mukti Bahinis, and vice versa. Men fled from homes, and women and children stayed at the mercy of the Razakars who raped women, and slit the children if they cried.”
My Memorable Memories
These are some memorable memories and some social activities in my life. I share these with you as a Gallery, hope you liked it too.