The story of a girl, born in Calcutta, who moved to Dhaka after East Pakistan became Bangladesh in 1971.
She is returning today to Calcutta, three years later, to the house where she grew up.
As the story unfolds we see the effect of memories on our sense of belonging and identity.
This story is of a pregnant girl crossing the river Mahananda, fleeing in a boat to East Pakistan with her husband and others of her village.
She struggles through the journey with her labour pain and the pain of being evicted from the country of her birth.
The Final Solution:
In this story we find a family of four, dispossessed of all their belongings in East Pakistan, taking shelter at a railway platform in Calcutta.
As the story progresses, we notice the all-around collapse of norms and we witness the helplessness and desperation to survive, casting aside all moral concerns.
The partition of India, a traumatic experience for all, was more so for the millions who had to cross the borders on either side.
It is generally accepted that the 1947 Partition of Bengal is very different from that of West Pakistan due to numerous social, political & historical reasons.
The identity of the Bengali people, whether Hindu or Muslim, rests on their shared language & memories, culture & heritage as well as food habits.
History is witness to the fact that whenever there is a violent uprooting & displacement of a people, the question of gender becomes a serious issue & the compulsions of survival start to take precedence over moral concerns.
It is important to remind ourselves of the violence, brutality & eventual futility of it all. Hoping, that does not happen ever again.