Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
     Volume 5 Issue 118 | November 3, 2006 |

   Cover Story
   Straight Talk
   In Retrospect
   Food for Thought
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review
   New Flicks
   Write to Mita

   SWM Home

Book Review

Feeling 'life' in our contemporary time

Reviewed by Dr Faheem Hasan Shahed


Published by Globe Library Ltd Price: Tk 120 Pages: 158 Tara dui bon (Two Sisters) by Deepak Chowdhury

There are some books which continually remind us how it feels living in the time we are into ... what it feels like being a traveller through the passage of our contemporary society. We accept our identities amid the angelic luminosity as well as the devilish dimness, and keep wondering: which is the one that rules us! But like any other societies of mankind, it is the latter that has a heavier weight --whether we like it or not.

Deepak Chowdhury has come up with a pen-document -- a book of short stories named 'Tara dui bon' -- that narrates how human rights have been relentlessly negated by the power strata of our society. These strata, needles to say, are chain-linked, and till endless time they would haunt and torment us until some drastic wind of change blows. He has indeed discovered from this dilapidated trend of our social existence how we have still been wreathed in the cobwebs of immorality ... how many of us haven't yet learnt to become 'human beings.'

Terming Deepak merely successful wouldn't do him any justice. Wandering through the pages, one definitely feels how Deepak has ascertained his credentials as a craftsman who values humans absolutely from a humane perspective, who deems human existence in an extraordinary approach toward society. For Deepak, life and living are inextricably linked with the wide range of social functions and dysfunctions. We see the latter more often, but hypocritically stay mum. However, Deepak refused to be a hypocrite, and that is what readers discover in each of the stories in this book. For one categorical aspect the writer deserves utmost credit. He hasn't allowed any part of the book to become a slogan; the literary taste has been intact.

As mentioned in the start, 'Tara dui bon' is a book of exceptional short stories. Take the story 'Amader Kushum' where Deepak candidly deals with a lower-middle class family's suppression of anguish caused by terrorism, anarchy, rape, abduction of teenaged girl, robbery of goods and money etc, in the last few years. The way women's personal quandaries and their world of feelings have been narrated here is awesomely multidimensional.

'Deshantor' is a classic example of the writer's mastery in depicting the dangerous, uncertain, frightening refugee lives of 1971 in concrete free-flowing style. Particularly touchy is his sensitive handling of the heartrending, dark life of the refugee camps in India... where people were dying in every living moment lacking care, food and medicine. Through this is story, the writer has build an inextricable link between the political warfare in the battlefields and the lives of million Bangalees in Indian refugee camps; the readers who have never seen a refugee shelter could almost feel the overwhelming suffocation of that life

In fact, the glorious Muktijuddho of 1971 has ornately come up in the story 'Attoja ebong atotayee kawtha.’ I personally am overwhelmed by the writer's mastery in the way he describes the horrendous confession of razakar Ohid and the rampant joys of the communal evil-powers; this is something unique in Bangla literature when it comes to 1971. Ohid razakar and his accomplices get hold of a female graduate student -- as part of the ongoing women-torture at that time by razakars and Pakistani army -- and as those accomplices were engaged in their wild devilish act on a boat over Meghna, Ohid discovers the naked bruised girl as none other than his own daughter Monowara, student of Victoria College who was an informer of our Muktibahinee.

However, Deepak is not devoid of romanticism too, and his treatment of romanticism is extraordinarily distinctive. Particularly in 'Jogshutro,' he makes readers dwell in wild predicament of curiosity -- leaving them thinking in many different lines of possibilities.

In his other stories like 'Tara dui bon,' 'Nawab Alir hirok,' 'Pishach, Pita o premiker golpo,' 'Shono hey manush,' Deepak has vividly put forward the disturbing trends of our current time... trends that question our existence as a civilised nation. We all know what these are: the ruthless homicide by miscreants, renunciation of laws by a section of law enforcing personnel, illegal merciless killing and brutal crimes of small and big godfathers across the country etc. Admittedly, these atrocities neither have any remedies nor face any justice. Honest people without power are the worst victims to the current socio-political system -- and the writer has time and again narrated how their shrieks have been falling on deaf ears.



Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2006