Well, this is Anam's 2nd book. And I was really eager to read the book since I liked A Golden Age so much.
The whole story is actually seen in the eye...moreWell, this is Anam's 2nd book. And I was really eager to read the book since I liked A Golden Age so much.
The whole story is actually seen in the eye of Maya, the protagonist, and occasionally hopping into other minor character. Among them we also have Rehana, the protagonist of the first book and Sohail, mainly in flashbacks, the mukti who has become religious after the war. There are a lot of books on the after effect of war on personal minds. This is one such book. Written in historical setting the book mainly focuses on the paradoxes that gulp Maya. The Book One mainly focuses on Maya's hatred (or whining) on the religion, the people who are not really thinking about current situation of the country for her own country is cannibalizing itself.
In Book Two we are suddenly informed that Rehana has cancer. Fearing she will loose her mother she suddenly falls for religion. May be, if doctors can't save her, praying will do! She thinks. But at the end her mother comes round from a worst case scenario. What have made it possible, miracle! No it can't be miracles. Suddenly she feels she has betrayed her own feelings and the hatred rises again.
Book Three is the most enjoyable part of the book. Where all the curtain are pulled up and we get a satisfying ending.
The premise of the book said, "Rise of Islamic Radicalism" in Bangladesh. But it was not shown clearly until the last chapter of the book. I don't know if that premise was made just to make the book attractive to the audience it intended for. Most of the parts of the book focuses on the view on religion of individual character. How Maya sees it and how Sohail sees it. Not on the Islamic radicalism to be specific. And madrasa were in this country even before the war. Some of those also helped Pakistani Army in the war. Ironically none of them were brought to charge. There are some factual error also. Like in 1984 December chapter, there was a notation of raining. But there is no rain in December in Bangladesh. Well this is not true for the last two years. But before that I have never seen rain in December.
The most touching part of the book is the story of zaid. How he remind me of Setsuko from Grave of the Fireflies! WHY MUST FIREFLIES DIE SO YOUNG! The father wanted the boy not to be like him. The aunt wanted the boy to be enlightened. And the boy just wanted to be free. Not to return to this wretched place again. So he jumped to be free... And he certainly got his freedom.
And the finishing was satisfying, clearing everyone has their own reason to what they are or have become.(less)
What to say about a book that says in its cover, "A dark dystopian portrait of Bangladesh under Prime Minister Sheikh Mujib"? The thing to learn from t...moreWhat to say about a book that says in its cover, "A dark dystopian portrait of Bangladesh under Prime Minister Sheikh Mujib"? The thing to learn from this line is that there is a very high probability of getting hurt if you are a Sheikh Mujib fan but may find it intensely pleasing if you psyche is the other way around. Now that I've read it I have a lot of question about the authenticity of some of the data I came to know. Let me see the book through the eye of a foreigner, the way I read books about Cold War, Second World War, Vietnam War, Iraq War; mostly written by an American writer. Although the incidents I mentioned are all wars, this book is not about Bangladesh Liberation War but about the events that followed the war. The newly born nation has formed its government almost one year after the liberation. But but a famine struck the country before every sector of the administrator became stable. According to the legends the words that Mujib says, "After the liberation I'm left with a bunch of thieves." The famine takes a lot of life. And amidst of this we get a story of a newly unemployed journalist, a young boy who came to capital to find work. There is another major character named 'Moina Mia' who is the representative of the Political Leaders of that time. The story is well written in many short sentences including a lot of lectures about what everyone's duty in the country is. It is described in the first person view of the journalist Khaleq Biswas who upon struck with unemployment uses the silent, carefree boy Nur Hossain to create a fake Sheikh Mujub and exploits people's admiration about Sheikh Mujib. But as the story progressed the prime minister Sheikh Mujib becomes more and more notorious among the public for his wrong decisions. And the journalist's protegé begin to have a say of his own and being the person 'nothing to loose', his thoughts show some fiery explosions, which in turn make the relation between the journalist and the boy very complicated. The character Moina Mia a Member of Parliament is the typical politician of the south asia. He is more concerned about the leader's fame than the well being of the people. He spends enough money to print enough copies of 'Sheikh Mujib - OUR PROTECTOR' so that everyone in the proximity can have five copies of it, than spending the money for providing food for the starving people. And uses Militia to a great extent. His working force is described who were dumb and became more dumber as the party sucked intelligence out of them. One thing I must mention, that the author has spent enough time and word to justify each action of every character and didn't leave it to the reader. Even the seemingly fraud journalist will make sense at times. And this cheat, even though changes his opinion time to time, will convince you that he is right. The prime minister appears only one time in the whole novel. And he is portrayed as the person who loves his people and he should not be asked any questions. Even though at later part we see how unsatisfied the people were. And the small number of books of Bangladeshi writes that I've read, I found that, they all had satisfying conclusion. This book is not an exception to that. The conclusion is satisfying as well as shocking, the poor perishes, the middle class loathes itself, and the upper class gets away. A spot on ending. Now that I've said that, as a Bangladeshi I doubt some aspects. The writer informed that only 0.3 million people died in the war. But I believe it is 3 million. I have a lot of other questions, but let them slide.(less)
The problem with the book is that it takes lots of things word by word from Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Autobiography. And adds very little over it.
It is...moreThe problem with the book is that it takes lots of things word by word from Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Autobiography. And adds very little over it.
It is better to read the first book in the planned Trilogy (3rd book yet to come) and then Sheikh Mujib's Autobiography than reading this.
Other things that are written are bland and are not written properly. The first part 'Jara Vor Enechilo' (Those Who Brought Dawn, I made this translation, not official) is ten times better than this book. And that book was written before the autobiography was published.
The extra stuff that comes out looks like text book writing than a novel. The writer should've spent more time while writing this.
I hope the third book will be as good as the first one, if not better than this.(less)