Sunday, 25 October 2015

আমার প্রথম বই 'তরমুজ পাগলা ও অন্যান্য গল্প' - থেকে অনুদিত

It was a cock. We liked to call him by name ‘Taliban’. He dreamt a lot to reign like a powerful king. Taliban was not at all like the bird of poet Sukanta which preferred delicious food dishes.  However, his ultimate fortune was like the famous cock of Sukanta. In terms of life-span of a fowl Taliban survived for quite a long period, and perhaps he could have lived long if he did not possess the Taliban mentality.
It’s all commenced with my posting at Udaipur as Additional Superintendent of Police. I started poultry with Taliban and four layers. The hens were white, white leg-horn. Perhaps they reared the genes of West. But Taliban was having black and other multiple colored feathers upon white shade which to my assessment represented the characteristics of Iranian and ancient Babylon.
Taliban was like a lord in my quarters. He attained an enormous size within a short period. He kept his four wives under strict control. At times, my son and other children also could not escape from the reign of Taliban. It’s like the Lord Buddha who could not escape from the Taliban in Afghanistan. He would give a chase to our children the moment they came out of the room to the court-yard. All the time a war-like situation prevailed. But surprisingly he did never enter into the room. Children used to play either under the escort of security personnel or after keeping Taliban locked. One night Taliban gave a brave fight against a cobra to save his wives from the attack of the snake.
After about three and half years I got transferred to Agartala from Udaipur. I carried Taliban and his family to Agartala. They were kept in my father-in-law’s house under the supervision of my mother-in-law.
The subsequent development was very sad. In the changed circumstances it became increasingly difficult for Taliban to protect his wives from the onslaught of jackals with two legs. Taliban also became more ferocious. Like Tagore’s Kabuliwala Taliban also caused blood-shed. It was a human victim and not a beast like dog or cat. He pecked just above the eyes of a child resulting profuse bleeding. Love and affection are critical commodities. I had to overcome those traits to send Taliban to the butcher. It cost ten rupees to get the dressed meat without the knowledge of my son. I could not be lion-hearted like the father of Mini in Tagore’s story Kabuliwala. My son believed that Taliban had been lost. We know he had become dearer to Almighty.


It’s a posting in response to an article with heading ‘BHULE JABAR AGE’, in Bengali, meaning ‘Before I forget’, written by Sri Arunoday Saha, Ex-V.C of Tripura Central University in the issue of local daily Dainik Sambad on February 18, 2013. The eminent educationist has praised my writings, especially my novel “Bridging Souls – a Journey from Mahabharata to Bharata”.

I am expressing my sincere regards to Prof Saha for his excellent gesture of highlighting my writings in his lucid language. He has also spoken with me on the same day. But, his article has a fallacy, which needs clarification. My book Bridging Souls is basically a travelogue. In this fiction, I have tried to portray a protagonist Ambujanaba Sharma, a police officer. In course of his visits to some places of the modern Bharat, he analyzed some of the incidents of the epic Mahabharata which took place more than five thousand years ago in the lens of modern laws.

I have narrated some incidents of sexual assaults in my book. From the article of Prof Saha, it appears that I have brought rape charges against Bhishma. This is a far fetching imagination. Yes, I have brought theft charges against him for stealing Nandini, the divine cow of sage Vasishtha, as youngest of the eight Vasus. I have also accused him for abduction of three beautiful princesses Amba, Ambika and Ambalika. Perhaps, my beloved teacher has been confused by section 494 IPC which I have brought against Vichitravirjya for bigamy. Bhishma was charged for abetment. He was also charged for abetting Amba to commit suicide. I didn’t spare him from criticism for organizing the rituals in the name of the Pandavas and their mother Kunti with the charred bodies of a Nishad family of similar composition, mother and five sons after the fire at Wax Palace, knowing fully well that the Pandavas were alive.
In fine, the following are some major incidents of sexual assault witnessed in the epic:
v     Sexual assault upon Kunti by Sun God and the birth of Karna.
v     In the version of Bhil’s Mahabharata, Draupadi had been sexually assaulted by Vasuki Naga for about a month.
v     Sexual assault upon Satyavati by sage Parashar and birth of Vyasa.
v     A maid servant was sexually assaulted by Dhritarashtra when Gandhari was in her pregnancy resulting birth of Yuyutsu.
v     In Tamil version of the Mahabharata, Arjuna sexually assaulted a beautiful lady named Ali, in the guise of a snake with the assistance of Sri Krishna who played the role of snake-charmer. Arjuna subsequently married Ali.
v     Lord Indra raped Tara, the wife of Brihashpati.
v     After the Kshatriya kings were slain by Parasuram, their widows were forcibly raped by the people from higher echelon of the society.

There are many more instances of gruesome offences in the epic which the readers may find in my book Bridging Souls – a Journey from Mahabharata to Bharata”.

Shri Shekhar Dutta, Senior Correspondent 'The Telegraph' on ‘I Adore’

Unlike their counterparts in the medical profession and in the army, hardcore police officers are scarcely known to achieve major success in writing. Erich Maria Remarque of Germany had produced his best selling war novel 'All Quiet on the Western Front' on the basis of first-hand experience of fighting in the first world war as a high school boy.We have many others like Ernest Hemingway who won nobel prize for his celebrated novel 'For whom the bell tolls' based on his direct experiences of the Spanish civil war in the middle and late thirties of the last century.

This long-winded preface seems to be in order in the context of a lucidly written diary work penned by Tripura's assistant inspector general of police (AIGP), Arindam Nath . The prevalent belief that long stint in police service tends to make people negativist is belied by Nath's 278-page book 'I Adore'. The short-story like episodes and anecdotes recapitulated all through the book are all based on Nath's direct experience in the course of life . Thus, while posted as commandant of TSR battalion (5th ) in Daluma in the interiors of then rebel-infested Amarpur subdivision, Arindam had encountered two Bhubans-one 'Havildar' named Bhuvan Sarkar and the other a rifleman named Bhuvan Dhar.Bhuvan Sarkar had been a confirmed alocoholic and would very often shirk important duties ,inviting the wrath of authorities . But whenever he sniffed trouble he would call his wife from Agartala who would go round begging for mercy from the officers because dismissal from service would also lead to deprivation in pension . Somehow he managed to escape punishment before retiring within two years but when Arindam Nath met him again near his police quarter at Agartala he was a metamophosed man , a dedicated family man who would cultivate fresh vegetables within his sprawling residence nearby. The second Bhuban-that is Bhuban Dhar- was addicted to 'Marijuana' and was dismissed from service at one stage for dereliction of duty. But much to his astonishment Arindam learned from Bhuban's deserted first wife that he had married again, reducing her to starvation . she was given the job of a domestic help for survivial and now her son has cleared Madhyamik. This is the theme of the very first story 'A tale of two Bhubans'.

Nath's discerning eyes also caught sight of the abundance of superstition and paranoid fear among his acquaintances and colleagues while lodging in the government police headquarter at A.D.Nagar. Nestled then in a desolate corner of the town, the quiet quarter complex had a sprawling undulating land in front, left-over of an abandoned tea garden. A mysterious moving light in the field at night would scare all the residents of the quarter complex who developed the conviction that a ghost had been let loose. It was not before a week that a daring constable Tarapada Roy who lived across the road one night waylaid the moving light and found the middle-aged man holding it to universal relief. 'The Bhuter Alo' story ended then and there.

But 'Infatuation' based on a trivial day-to-day incident remains etched in his memory. One of author's friends Deepak got stuck up in a traffic jam in his car as a procession taking the idol of goddess 'Basanti' for immersion was on . A particularly beautiful girl caught Deepak's eyes with her dark blue and wide eyes and vivacious giggling . Deepak came to his senses when the traffic moved on again but he wistfully kept on gazing at the girl weighing the pros and cons of having her as wife when he was jolted by the thought of his wife anxiously awaiting him at home.

There are altogether 102 such episodical stories gleaned from day-to-day experience of life but all are lucid and enjoyable to read . The style however resembles the one followed by late stalwat of Bengali literature Sunil Gangopadhyaya in the latter's 'Neel Lohit ' series. But Nath's refreshing style and direct rendition make them eminently readable and caught the imagination of readers of Agartala Book Fair. His better half Dr Paramita Biswas has done a brilliant cover page photo which symbolises the variety of the content inside. Chennai's 'Notgion Press' has acquitted itself very well in producing the sleek volume of 'I adore'.The book from a no-nonsense and fanatically honest police officer is a refreshing contrast from the run-of-the-mill pre-book fair releases every year.

সাংবাদিক শ্রীযুক্ত শেখর দত্তের চোখে: ‘ সাব-ইন্সপেক্টর করমচাঁদের ডায়রি ’

Philosophers have defined man as rational animal but man`s underlying animality often overpowers his rationality. Perhaps this is the reality which explains human penchant for crimes and journey into the murky underworld , apart from familiar factors such as greed and associated mental retardations. Police officers-serving and retired-endowed with high imaginative faculties and power of expression are eminently capable of exposing the underworld of crime and criminals . Marshall Frank, retired supercop in Miami , USA and Dallas state`s former senior cop Debra Knapp have illustrated the point in their masterpieces , `The upside to crime` and `Mountana the police horse`-the latter a childrens book. Tripura`s popular police officer Arindam Nath`s latest book `Sub-inspector Karamchander Diary` based on his professional experience as DSP (central) in the state capital is an authentic study on crime and criminals observed from a highly imaginative and creative angle. The backbone of the book is Sub-inspector Karamchand (Nath`s junior colleague in West Agartala police station) who used to maintain a diary of events and characters related to crimes and the dark recesses of the underworld.
Nath`s book is a veritable revelation to the extent that under a thin camouflage he has shed transparent light on crucial protagonists of the underworld and their operational style. A discerning reader would find it easy to identify the quintet who died together while manufacturing crude bombs in erstwhile Hostel No-2 of MBB college as the killers of CPI (M) activist turned Youth Congress Vice President Swapan Das. The blast had occurred in the run-up to the Loksabha polls of 1996 while Swapan Das had been slain in his home a few months earlier in December 1995. The leader who had plotted the murder had gone to Calcutta to attend an all Indian conference of his organisation after handing in the blue-print to his hired assassins. It is to Nath`s immense credit that barring experienced journalists and active players in the act nobody would be able to what or who he is hinting at in the camouflage.

The state`s most famous-possibly notorious-murderer and mafia don Amit Ghosh, currently serving long prison term, also appears in `Sub-inspector Karamchander Diary` towards the end in the pseudonym of Abhishek . Nath was the police officer who finally brought Amit alias Abhishek to justice by arresting him in connection with a murder case but ,significantly, Amit alias Abhishek had been a regular caller by telephone. Amit`s voice and manner of expression would emit signals of threat and possible danger but Nath had a most bizarre experience when one fine morning Amit alias Abhishek`s wife, a one-time cabaret dancer in Calcutta, materialised in his office to complain of threats to her and her two sons lives from her consort.

Nath has imaginatively focussed on varied human characters in his book in all their diverse traits : perennial police source Sudhir who made police station his virtual home , polygamous Kabir Bhai and his border home and a large number of burglars, dacoits and murderers and their graduation to the murky underworld of crimes. But the most startling conclusion a reader is left with from a study of Nath`s book is that the old adage-`frailty thy name is woman`-might well be replaced by a new adage : inconsistency or unpredictability thy name is woman. What illustrates the point is the life and evolution of a veiled character Tilottama Das of a bordering village. Tilottama had been violated by a criminally-motivated man , Madhav Das , allowed the violation to be an almost regular affair and finally collaborated with the violator in having her husband murdered and then turned an approver in court to have the supposed paramour land in jail with a life-term. A truly amazing crime that defies any definition.

`Sub-inspector Karamchander Diary` is Arindam Nath`s fourth book-a testimony to the man`s creative and imaginative faculty. Endowed with a flair for lucid expression, reflective of his pristinely simple nature, Nath is well on course to producing more books with eminent readability as their forte. The `Gyan Vichitra` and `Book World` publishers have made a laudable job in producing this sleek 128-page volume with a good cover photo from Sukanta Banik and Aparesh Paul.

সাংবাদিক শ্রীযুক্ত শেখর দত্তের চোখে: ‘দুই ভুবন’

Celebrated Bengali novelist and short-story writer Manik Bandyopadhaya (actual name, Prabodh Kumar Bandopadhyaya) had once been asked by a publisher keen to publish a collection of his short stories to select the stories to be included in the planned volume. Manik had expressed his dilemma over the choice to be made, citing the incontrovertible fact that his creations were like his children and it was next to impossible to select and discriminate anong children.Arindam Nath, arguably Tripura's most popular police officer, may not have confronted the dilemma as he had produced a new volume of stories or closest approximations to them in the form of diary. But his creativity, keenly observant eye and aesthetic sense unmistakably underline all the stories and facets of his daily experiences in life in his fifth published book 'Dui Bhuban. Aesthetics and police service apparently go ill together because of the very nature of police service which seems to blunt any finer sensibility in otherwise sensitive human beings . But exceptions do exist and Arindam Nath personifies this in full measure.

Thus we have the opening story 'Lokti'-an outsider who had entered the town with a silver-flute and would move around aimlessly , charming people with his flute-blowing. The author was reminded of the piper of German town Hamlin who had driven away the bristling rats of the town with his tune after being promised a reward by the Mayor. He had retaliated by piping away with tune all the children of the Hamlin town after being deprived of the promised reward. The odd man out in the Agartala town resembled the piper of Hamline but stopped short of repeating the feat.
In the course of his career as an additional superinrendent of police (ASP), Dhalai. author Nath had encountered a foxy militant leader Jacob Hrankhawal; who had always given a slip to the police and security personnel. In the story titled 'Sarva Dharma Sammelan'-believed to be factually correct-NLFT comander Jacob Hrangkhawal had put his paramour Lallum Halam in the safe custody (?) of an ex-trigamous daocoit chief Milan Sarkar who had two other wives Sujata Sarkar and Nasima Bibi. They were apparently at peace and testified to changed character of ex-dacoit Milan as a big grocery owner. Dodging the police dragnet several times Jacob had finally taken away his paramour Lallum before surrendering to security forces.

Nath's incisive eyes and alert ears to even slightest deviations from normal routine of life made an impact. Thus one morning while on morning walk he listened to a middle-aged security man on march asking a school girl 'what is your name' ? It struck Nath and his companion as upsurge of 'libido' in a man of advanced age. The author's robust sense of humour comes out in sharp relief in the episodic story 'Sarameya Charitam' (character of canines) which gives in detail the movement , activities and characteristic features of stray dogs.

The tradition of short story writing as a separate genre of literature can be traced even to the very ancient age : 'Hitopadesh', 'Panchatantra' and the ennobling stories of 'Upanishad' in classical Sanskrit illustrate the point as do Esop's tales. As the civilisation advanced story writing skirted the didactic overtones in the anecdotes and episodes of antiquity as the classical masters Guy de Moupassant, Rabindra Nath Tagore and Anton Chekov-to name a few only-took over to produce abundance of masterpieces. Author Arindam Nath's 32 stories included in the volume , so sleekly published by 'Niharika', may not be high literature but they do provide a refresing insight into human mind, action and reaction.