Thursday, August 20, 2009

Moinul Ahsan Saber’s great subject!

Delighting on facts in making fictions
Young Bengali poet Anisur Rahman, recently got guest writer scholarship in a Swedish city Uppsala, goes through Moinul Ahsan Saber’s collection of short stories ‘Koekti Onuman-Nirbhor Golpo’ and presents his findings over that
Moinul Ahsan Saber’s great subject, like very few writers of his period, is Bangladesh itself in his collection of Bengali short stories Koekti Onuman-Nirbhor Golpo (Some Hypothetical Fictions).
Saber is too acute an observer of his fellow Bengali men and women, disappointingly are sketchy and marginal sometimes to complete this self-appointed task. He is too gifted at portraying his characters into outstanding, profoundly memorable grotesques. Centred on life in Bangladesh connecting politics and unexpected happenings that not to be spirited in line with Liberation War in 1971, the collection finds several of Saber’s key stylistic traits already in place.
Standing on strong tradition of post Tagore contemporary state of Bengali short stories, he epitomised and became close to these stories in this book are rich in styles and approaches to the times passed by Saber. Most stories in this collection are psychologically complex – end with the words having that spirit that matches with psyche of modern Bengali life.
Such touches make one’s reading of Saber a very immediate, stimulating experience. His evocations of scenes, facts and place become so relevant as such we are involved. This is an observation that can be made for promoting as some of the finest examples of descriptive writing.
The distancing of his narratives, through which a sense is imparted that the teller of the story and its author are not the same, is artful, and grows only more sophisticated throughout Saber’s progress as a fiction writer.
The story, set alongside Nokor (employment), represents the high point of Saber’s career as a writer of short fiction. This triumphant, which all contains pointed condemnations of the dehumanising effects of politics and bureaucracy take place in Bangladesh during recent decades.
As for the link between Saber and Kafka, is expressed precisely and with great connection over absurdity in modern Bengali life at home and abroad. Can we differentiate that from the finding that Kafka observed and thus presented in his writings?
In Saber and Kafka the absurd central character belongs to the absurd world around him but, pathetically and tragically, attempts to struggle out of it into the world of humans – and disappears in despair. And exactly such things happen in case of Abu Taleb in the story entitled as ‘Abu Taleb’s Sorol Proshno’ (The ordinary question in Abu Taleb) as in fine we can see he has agreed to have the recognition of a freedom fighter from the elements in the campaign of the anti-Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 and they dominate country’s politics and governance in its insights and outsights.
In the story called, ‘Sir,’ the reality and metamorphoses of statue of much expected Ratan Sir in the eyes of his expatriate student Manik and his wife Ruma in the discovery of terrorist gang leader Manik, who is ironically addressed as Manik Sir among his fellow elements and other people in his locality. This is the irony of fate of our present day Bengali life in Dhaka and other cities. Our mastan Maniks are so prominent as we cannot even find out the symbol of ideals in our society--- to be mentioned Manik sir, a school teacher. How mockery we see in our life that Saber has honestly portrayed in this story.
In the story called Amar Premika Surma, Eta Ki Taar Golpo? (My beloved Surma, is it her story?), Saber has simply presented the poverty scenes of population in villages have their troubles in hunger and deprivation due to politics cooked by Ershad-Khaleda-Hasina leadership, river erosion and bitter winter. At the same time we find discriminations in life style between the rich and the poor alongside having coloured imaginations and dreams in the eyes of the narrator, a university boy, in the story over his love-making with a rich village girl named Surma.
Two stories, ‘Eke Amra Kaktalio Bolte Pari (We can call it a miracle) and Abdul Hakimer Khosra Khata (Abdul Hakim’s Rough Notebook) are simply a bonsai presentation of the conflicts of village politics in Bangladesh.
The 92-page tiny book featuring six short fictions is to be noted as a masterpiece in respect to portray the mockeries and ironies taking place in post 1971 Bangladesh till the date, isn’t? It is a strong example in the art of short story in delighting on facts in making fiction. It is moreover a new development too in the tradition of post Tagore Bengali fiction in line with the spirit of absurdity made by Franz Kafka and others in world literature as well.
Koekti Onuman-Nirbhor Golpo (Collection of Bengali short fictions), by Moinul Ahsan Saber, Cover design by Dhruba Esh, Published by Dibyaprokash, Dhaka, Published in February 2008, Price: 100 Bangladesh Taka (pages 92)

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