Category Archives: Literature

Faiz Ahmed Faiz and the Bangladesh Liberation War (1971)

After a brief visit of about ten days, I returned from Dhaka at the end of 2011, which happened to be the fortieth birth anniversary of Bangladesh. During my stay, I interacted with academics, scholars, and lay people about the … Continue reading

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Short Story: Mehru’s Dream

The dark clouds had been gathering for a while. The nor’wester would strike soon, bringing momentary relief from the heat and humidity. Mehru wiped the sweat off her face with the corner of her sari. The boy on the lap … Continue reading

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Books Review: Ayesha Mattu & Nura Maznavi’s Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex, and Intimacy

“In order to be enrolled in sex education, students needed parental permission. Every single student received it, except me. The only brown kid. The only Muslim,” writes Haroon Moghul. Moghul was sent to the library to do a project on … Continue reading

Posted in 9/11, American Life, Book Review, Identity, Islam, Life, Literature, Love, Non-fiction, Religion, Secularism/Liberalism | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fiction of Activism

[It was first published in Cafe Dissensus Magazine] While this issue is predominantly about social activism as practice, fiction, especially the Anglophone ones from South Asia, seems to have started engaging with activism as well. Social activism is very often … Continue reading

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Sabitri Roy’s Badwip (The Delta, 1972): Communalization of Post-Partition Urban Space in Calcutta

A personal anecdote: Since the time I came to India from New York City for research-related work in September, 2011, I have been staying with my sister in Tollygunge. Her modest two-BHK apartment was not the most conducive space for … Continue reading

Posted in Bangladesh, Bengali Literature, Communalism, Indian Muslim, Literature, Partition of India, Religion, Secularism/Liberalism, Violence | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Woman, Madness, and Partition Literature

Any study on partition literature cites Manto’s Toba Tek Singh as the archetypal figure of insanity. In the “Introduction” to their volume, Translating Partition, Ravikant and Tarun K. Saint write that ”Toba Tek Singh” is a triumph of ambivalence and a great … Continue reading

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Salman Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence & ‘Cultural Translation’

Salman Rushdie’s novel, The Enchantress of Florence (2008), set in sixteenth century Florence and India, is a tour de force of cross-cultural encounter between the West and the East around the time of the European Renaissance. The novel traverses between … Continue reading

Posted in Author, Book Review, Fiction, History, Identity, Islam, Literature, Secularism/Liberalism, Translation | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments