|Book Title||Nilkantha Pakhir Khonje|
|Publisher||Karuna Prakashani, Kolkata 700009|
|Date of Audio Publication||February 2019|
|Media||Audio Book (mp3)|
|Duration||31 hours & 7 minutes|
|Availability||For the print-disabled only|
On Nilkantha Pakhir Khonje
Atin Bandyopadhyay (March 1, 1934 – January 19, 2019) passed away just two weeks ago when we were getting ready with his masterpiece Nilkantha Pakhir Khonje as an audio book for our innumerable readers. This huge novel, complete in two volumes, took us quite a long time as we wanted to release the audio version after finishing both volumes together. We knew that our members would not wait long for the second volume once the first volume was released. Nilkantha Pakhir Khonje is the first of four-book tetralogy on the Partition. We have a plan to record the remaining three books – Manusher Gharbari, Aloukik Jalajan and Ishwarer Bagan. We shall need some time.
Nilkantha Pakhir Khonje has an epic atmosphere centring round a remote village in East Bengal. The calm and quiet atmosphere of the village is seldom disturbed by the din and bustle of urban life. The novel begins with the news of a birth, the birth of Sona Babu who turns out to be the hero of the series. This particular novel has another hero, Manindranath who wanders about the village searching his lost treasure. He disappears at the end of the novel and his family has to leave him untraced when they are forced to cross over to West Bengal after partition. Sona Babu inscribes a message for him on the bark of an arjun tree, “Uncle, we have gone to Hindustan.”
The idyllic calm of the village in Nilkantha Pakhir Khonje is first disturbed by the communal tension of 1946. It does not end in riot. Finally it brings about the partition of Bengal. Many families like Sona Babu’s are uprooted penniless and homeless.
Nilkantha Pakhir Khonje touches in brief the historical language movement of 1952. Though this event is not amply elaborated, it presents another consequence of the partition. Nilkantha Pakhir khonj, the search for happiness is frustrated for ever.
Nilkantha Pakhir Khonje has many threads that need elaborate discussion. One such thread is held by Isham who carries the message of Sona’s birth at the beginning. Isham, a Muslim labour of the well-to-do Hindu family receives his paltry reward of hundred rupees when the family sells out everything. Isham’s wife, so long neglected and forlorn, dies when he has the time to look towards her. He leaves his home and hearth only to return to his familiar soil to breathe his last. Isham plays the role of Greek chorus whose recital sets the tone of a drama.
About Atin Bandyopadhyay
Atin Bandyopadhyay was born at Rainadi village in Dhaka to Shri Abhimannu Bandyopadhyay and Smt. Labanyaprabha Debi. He himself was a victim of partition in the wake of which his family moved to Kasimbazar, Murshidabad in West Bengal. He completed his school and college education in West Bengal. He tried various professions – truck cleaner, sailor, schoolmaster and publisher – before he succeeded as a journalist and novelist. He received Bankim Puraskar in 1998 for the novel Dui Bharatbarsha. Among many other honours, he received Sahitya Academy Award in 2001.
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