Bridge to Global Literature

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Pendulum – Jayanta Dey

Mar 6, 2021 | Fiction | 4 comments

Translated from the Bengali by Bashu Das


My dad had a clock, a small, round table clock, made of brass. It stood on four curving legs. The pendulum, like a George V silver coin, swung in between. It would invariably catch the eyes that darted in that direction.  How did the medallion swing incessantly forever without fail? The flying wings on its round dial had delicate engravings of floral patterns – of flowers, vines, and leaves. The tiny leaves were green, the flowers red, the outlines of the leaves and the branches enameled. Most of the colored enamel was chipped, as if someone had scratched them out, bit by bit, with nails.
My dad used to wind the clock once a month and dusted it every day. With loving care, it rested like some deity on top of a large piece of cotswool cloth folded in quarters. Whoever visited our house would stare at it, their eyes transfixed. My dad knew. I knew too. I’d sneak a glance at my dad. Dad would be swelling up with pride. Reddish blotches appeared on his somewhat heavy and solemn face. The wings of his nose pushed outward and became more pronounced. It seemed as if a few black strands flashed like lightning amidst his white hair. I would hear drumbeats in my heart, as if I were in a battle, on a hunt. I would keep staring at my dad. He grew larger and larger and I shrunk, so insignificant and small.
The clock was on a shelf with wide empty space around it. The top of that long, elongated bookshelf was divided by a terracotta watchman. With large round eyes, a spear in one hand and a shield on the other, muscles taut and chest expanded, he protected the clock with all his might. On his right, a basket of pens, an incense burner, a flower vase, a pen knife, and a photo-frame lay scattered. On the left, closer to the hand with the shield, rested only the clock, all by itself, sailing with its two flying wings spread regally. The two clock hands gently brushed past the Roman hour markers and the chime crooned every hour. How sweet it sounded! Perhaps that was the reason why everyone noticed it.
And as it happens when something gets noticed, each and every one who visited our house  asked about the watch – different queries in different manners. Why does the clock look so different? Why is it kept alone, by itself? Ah—what a beauty! It’s antique, isn’t it? Does it keep time well? One cannot find such things from those old days any more even if you are ready to spend for it. Et cetera, et cetera.
I felt that the clock used to beat faster, solemnly at these questions and curiosities.
My dad used to give the same answer to all these different queries.
“It’s not one of us. It’s from another caste.”
Different caste? What does that even mean? Do clocks have caste?
My dad would then begin his story, the story of the clock, a story wrapped with tales of heroism, youth, and history.
I’ve heard it. I heard it many times with amazement. Those who visited us would also listen to it, a tale from 1946. A few black strands amidst my dad’s mane of white hair flashed like lightning.
One night, that clock stopped. My dad noticed it when he went to clean it. He called me to that room and said, “I remember winding it on the first of the month. Then why did it stop?”
The pendulum had gone silent. It last ran at Two Twenty. My heart ached. “On the first? Are you sure, you wound it on the first?”
“Absolutely. It’s a habit of ages – since 1946. There is no mistake.”
“Still, wind it again.”
Dad wound the clock gently. The winding key turned as always. He gently nudged the pendulum with his index finger. The clock hands did not budge. The pendulum did not move.
Age old wrinkles furrowed deep on my dad’s face as if grooved by a knife. He asked, “What should we do?”
“We have to get it repaired at a reputable workshop.”
“Then, go get a good mechanic.”
I went to the “Ghosh Watches” on my way to the office. I said, “Our clock is out of order. You need to send someone good. Here is the address. When will you send someone?”
The shopkeeper had an eyepiece over one eye. He spoke, twitching through his other eye, “I see you take the bus from here every morning. Bring it tomorrow on your way to the office, I’ll see what I can do.”
“Here? That won’t be possible. The thing is, it’s my dad’s clock. I mean, I cannot bring the clock here. You need to come to our house.”
The shopkeeper now squinted his open eye, “Why? You think we’ll steal some parts! Go take a look at our signboard. We are trusted, we have a good reputation, you know.”
“No, no, it’s not a matter of stealing parts. I just cannot bring it here. The clock has a history with my dad, you know, from his youth; it’s about a battle and all that.”
The shopkeeper shut his open eye this time. I knew he was watching me through the magnifier lens attached to his eyepiece.  I felt quite uncomfortable, like I was a damaged clock. He was unscrewing all the nuts and bolts of my body, turning them over and over. Behind the eyepiece, his eye narrowed. It was glowing. My body, this clock – felt sick. He was trying to figure out which part had malfunctioned. The pendulum in my heart oscillated hard, tick tock, tick tock. My two hands were like the clock’s—hours hand and minutes hand. The third hand was the second hand. The bloke found it. That’s the hand, because it runs far more. Everything stops if it does not run. I’ll be immobile. The orderlies, the peons will be inert. It means all files will freeze. That’s it. I grab my share because I have to. They won’t get theirs if I don’t. There will be death-gasps in their families. So I refused, for I had a fixed salary, but allowed them to feast. They gorged on and outran me. As the Bengali idiom goes, fingers engorged to bananas. Not even the smaller Lady Finger kind. These were huge, like the Cavendish bananas. Wow, the health, the glow of them! I just could not bear it. So, I went at it too. Believe me, it hurt. I used to support left-wing politics in my College years.  I am still a leftist at heart. Dad provided me moral courage. He patted me on my shoulder and did not call it a bribe. He called it overpay.
My family and relatives, my friends, my in-laws – all learned about the overpay. I got overpay on top of my salary. Everyone said, “That’s great, good show. The times that we are in, you’ll simply starve without overpay. Not a morsel to cook – pots and pans will go empty.”
My clock’s second hand was running fast, helter-skelter. The bloke was watching me through his covered eye. I felt a little ashamed. Bit of shame! Remorse! I thought surely he would ask for more. He found a source of overpay.
The shopkeeper lowered his lens and said, “Hmm, Got it. Sentiment.”
Silently I thought – nice, a superb diagnosis. I said, “That’s it, exactly. My dad is old, you know.”
“But you can’t go by history, sentiment – all that shit. There are two bridges – upper and lower, get it? The main wheel goes round and round in between, then the first, the second, and the third wheel. Exactly in the middle of all these, meaning right at the center, is the main spring lever. On one side is the alarm side wheel. That’s it, this is the game. Bring it over. I’ll fix it. History, sentiment – all those are bogus parts, just ditch them.”
I ditched Ghosh Watch instead. Their Goodwill signboard kept hanging. It was time for another shop. I got down from the bus two stops ahead on my way home from the office. The shop was at the Karunamoyee crossing – “Perfect Time”.
“Will you send someone to our house? Here is the address.”
“To your house? For a mere clock? No, brother. TV, refrigerator, emergency patients – they get home visits. There’s a policy for those, not yet for clocks. You can leave the address. When the system changes, we’ll visit your house.”
I walked next to the “Sonamoni Clock House.”
“Is the clock made of gold? Of costly gems and stones? No! Such fuss just for a brass clock! Don’t get it where such people come from!”
I told my dad, “No one wants to make a house call. There is no system for home visits to repair clocks.”
Dad said, “System? What system? This is why Bengalis will never be good businessmen. Such idiot fops! The clients have to go to them. They won’t come. They could have made some extra bucks if they did, but oh, no.”
True, I did not mention to anyone we would pay more for a house visit. I wondered if they would have agreed if I had mentioned it. Oops! But was this something one talked about? I imagined they would have charged accordingly if they came.
The clock stayed on the bookshelf, not running. The terracotta watchman was a little far from it. Now, myriads of questions were triggered by the stopped clock.
The answer from my dad was still the same – starting from castes upper and lower, on to youth and heroism, to failed businesses by the Bengalis. Amazing that everyone paid attention. I memorized it too in a few days.
After a few days, my dad’s sentiment loosened a bit. He said, “If one has to die, may as well die in the hands of a classy doctor. Not in the hands of a mechanic from this god-forsaken Kundeghat. Rather, take it to the shrine of clock repairers, to Radhabazaar”.
Hanging my bag on the chair, putting a paper weight on the files, making sure the fan is running overhead, I took off for Radhabazaar.
So many stores! I searched for a high-class doctor. I heard that a patient gets half-cured just by the looks of a sharp doctor. This case was similar. I needed an elite, high-class doctor. I looked through this shop and then another, then another. Beards, fez caps, delicate panjabis, surma, mehendi. What to do?  Is it safe to leave the clock here? I have to keep a bill of receipt. Who knows if they change the bigger hand to smaller, the shorter to longer? Drums beat in my head. Once they got it in their hands, they might do anything. Heard Bikash of our office barking at Moin,” Just wait till we form the Government. Then we’ll get you. We’ll shove all this shit back up your ass.”
Then? What do I do? The pendulum in my heart broke off in despair. Dong! All finished. Done for.
My dad says men in India are just starting to rise. The Babri Mosque was a big knot. That one is toppled. Now, the Hindus will go far in leaps and bounds. Lots to do now.
I know, this is the dawn of Hindus rising. One day, Hindus will march across the whole world, will raise their saffron flags over the whole world. It’s in Nostradamus. My friend Kinkar, a professor of philosophy told me so. And the clock had to break down just at this time.  Well, let’s see. I may as well push the glass door and get in. It’s a big store. What can happen? They need to run their businesses in Kolkata after all.
“Mohan? Hey, aren’t you Mohan?”
I stopped and saw this man running towards me skipping rooms in each leap like a quartz clock hand skips from one to twelve dancing. He was quite handsome -a bit short, fair complexioned, round face with aquiline nose, like a brand-new model of the Titan watch.
Who is this? I couldn’t place him. I am reflected in so many tiny mirrors – on all those Anglo Swiss, HMT, Titan, Timex clocks. I am on all these colored glasses of clock dials. I have seen him somewhere. Who was he? Bolu’s brother-in-law? Khokan’s in-law? The renter in Abinash’s flat?
“Hey, Mohan, how have you been? I recognized you right away.”
“Yes, but I – can’t quite remember – where did we meet?”
“Eyes playing tricks, huh! Don’t you remember me? Our house – just opposite the Nabina Cinema house on Price Anwar Shah Road.”
“But still – “
“Ohh, Mohan, I am Samsuddin. Samu.”
“Oh, Samu! Oh my God, you have gained weight, and so fair. Glowing, I’d say!”
“Come, come, come on inside.”
We went in. Samu sat inside the counter. I sat on a cushioned chair outside.
“How about a cup of tea? Hey, Anna, get some tea here. Now tell me, how are things?
“Well, all right. I came here for something. So, do you still live in that house in front of the Nabina Cinema?”
“Yes, still there. Where would I be? It’s our house for four generations. Come over someday. How are Biru, Gopal? It has been so long – twenty, twenty-five years, isn’t?”
“Fine, they are all fine. I haven’t seen you for so long. You put on some weight and got quite fair.”
“I have been stuck here for ages. Can’t make time.”
We got cups of tea. Crème floated on the tea. Jogesh Chandra College. B.Com. Samu and I studied there. Samsuddin, I mean. I blew on the hot tea to cool it.
“This must be your store!”
“It’s my uncle’s. It was closed, locked down. I couldn’t find a job, so I opened it. It provides – enough to put food on the table.”
“That’s great. You are running a business in a place like Kolkata!”
“My dad, grandpa, four generations lived in Kolkata. Whare would I go? My eldest son went to Mumbai. He tried so hard. Then he came back. He says it’s really bad there. The new government calls us Bangladeshis as a pretext to kick out all Muslims. What will Muslims do? They are citizens, want to live in their own country, and yet they get thrown out.”
I put the cup down with a sharp bang on the saucer. I said to myself, “Well done. We couldn’t do it. They got it done.” I wiped my lips with a handkerchief and said, “Well, this infiltration by Bangladeshis is a huge problem. They will ruin everything if it’s not controlled.”
Samu stayed silent. Rows of pendulums swung, and the clocks kept ringing with a mélange of sound – tik tok, ding dong, cring cring. I wiped my face.
“I have a clock. I know you, so I am hopeful. Will you take a look?”
“Of course. Just bring it here someday. Any day.”
“It’s right here. I have it.”
I lifted the clock to show him. Samu opened the wrapping papers and got busy with it. He looked it over, moved the hands here and there, and said, “I can’t do it right away, Mohan. Leave it here. Come back next week. I’ll fix it.”
Samu wrote a bill quickly. He left the place for money blank. He gave me the bill and said, “Here. Write your name and address. You still live in the same house, right?”
I wrote my name and address. “Tell me how much? I’ll pay you now.”
“Oh, come on. Let me fix it first.”
I felt a weight had been lifted. I returned to my office as if on wings, flying. The fan was moving. The bag was on the chair. I gulped water from the glass carefully covered by a saucer Ah, I felt quenched! Samu was suddenly so quiet when I made that remark about infiltration. My God, I left the clock with him; hope that small talk doesn’t cause any problem.
Dad was aging. He got impatient on a trifle. Samu said, in about a week. That meant seven days, give or take a few. Dad kept counting the days when the wait would be over. Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday. Only four days so far. He reminded me gravely, “Today is the fourth day. Sunday will be the seventh. So, what do you plan to do? Do you want to go on Monday after a full week or perhaps visit him on Saturday?”
I understood my dad’s feeling for the clock. Tick tock, the clock used to run as if it were his heart pulsing. Every hour it would chime — ding dong – as my dad recuperated, returned to the days of to his youth, or perhaps, it became a must-do habit to toy with it.
My dad used to leave quite early for his morning walk, no matter if it’s winter or summer or monsoon. When he returned, my wife nudged me hearing his voice. Then she opened the iron door latch with a bang but did not go out of our room. My dad did not like to see Moni’s face in the morning. He got really upset if by chance he saw her. The problem was that Moni, I mean, we, didn’t have any children. Dad thought it was Moni’s fault. I too thought so. I didn’t have any problem. I put toothpaste on my brush and walked to the verandah through dad’s room. By then, the cotswool was in dad’s palm. He flicked it a few times and then wiped the clock.
But I still heard the sound of flicking every day. I was surprised and so one day, I peeped in. I saw Dad flicking the cotswool like on other days, but not just two three times. He kept flicking, ten, eleven, twelve, …
Dad handed me a hundred rupee note on Friday when I returned from my office. “Keep the money.”
“Money? Why? What for?”
“Who knows how much it will be to fix the clock. Pay the rest if more. I’ll repay you when you return.”
“But why are you paying? The watch repair man is my friend. I’ll pay him, whatever it is.”
“No, you keep your money. The clock will be repaired with my money.”
“What is this “your money,” “my money,” you are talking about?”
“My clock will be repaired with my money.”
My wife dragged me aside and said, “Let it be. Don’t make a big deal of it. He has money and he is giving it. You can’t get a penny out of him for anything. He is saving it all like the miser he is.”
I told my wife, “He meant something else by my money. Am I not earning? I work in the office – that’s why they pay me. No one pays for nothing.”
In fact, dad’s money or my money – it doesn’t matter. The clock is mine too. It’s a family heirloom, a matter of pride. It will be mine when Dad will be no more. And? What would I do with these hundred rupees? The night passed; my head ached thinking about it even in the morning. Bad taste in my mouth. I should go to that shop. The day was Saturday. I heard the smacking of the cotswool in the air. I cupped my hands and threw water in my face as if to wash away all this distress. I waited for my tea sitting in the verandah. I was waiting for the newspaper to come through the grilled door when I saw a boy open the gate and enter with a cycle. He came in and put the cycle on its stand. What’s going on? Did they replace the boy who used to deliver the newspaper? That means they sold the business to someone else. Sale of business, sale of house.
The boy was in front of our door. I got up and extended my hand through the grille. He said, “Is Madan Mohan Roy in?”
“Yes, that’s me. Why do you ask?”
“My dad sent me. Samsuddin Alam from Lord Time. Uncle, I brought your time clock.”
I opened the grilled door. “You mean Samu. Are you Samu’s son? Oh, come in, come in. Your dad didn’t have to take the trouble to send it.”
“It was done Wednesday. Dad said, “It’s just sitting here. Go, take it to them. They are worried about it.” So, I dropped by.”
“Come, come, have a seat. You know, your dad and I are childhood friends.”
The boy nodded his head. His eyes twinkled as he smiled. “I have heard about you a lot from dad. Dad said, go visit my friend’s home.”
“Which son are you? The younger one?”
“No, I am the older.”
“So, you were in Mumbai. Your dad was telling me about you.”
“Yeah, they were about to do me in as Bangladeshi. That’s why I ran back.” The boy smirked. Both of his fair cheeks dimpled as he smiled. He had an aquiline nose like Samu’s. His curly hair fell freely to his shoulder. He was wearing a red loose-fitting tee and a pair of jeans pant. He took the clock out from his bag and unwrapped the papers covering the clock. The clock shone bright. It sat proudly on its four legs. The tick-tock melody filled my ears. My voice trembled. I called loudly,” Dad, dad!”
My dad looked at the clock as soon he came in. He picked up the clock like a winner’s cup and sat on his chair with a thud. With a choked voice, he asked, “What happened to it? Is everything okay?”
The boy said, “Nothing much. We didn’t have to fix any part. It’s an old clock, it got stuck. Just a bit of oiling, that’s all.”
Dad picked up the clock on his chest and wiped it with his shirt. I said, “Dad, he is my friend’s son, the eldest one. His dad is my college friend.”
My dad held the clock on his chest in one hand and extended his other hand, “Bless you, be good sons of Mother India. Be brave. Be successful in life.”
Dad closed his eyes. Droplets of tears shone in the corners of his eyes. Silence. Even the tick tock sound of the clock could not be heard, as if that sound merged with the murmurs of my dad’s heart.  I was looking at the boy, a radiant luster shining on his whole face. My dad rose and left, holding the clock upon his chest. A crow was cawing continuously. The morning sun has already made the day quite hot. My chest and back were starting to itch. I asked him, “So, what do you plan to do?”
“They were calling us Bangladeshis, otherwise the job at Mumbai was not bad. I’ll find something here. Yeah, those Hindus there are very hostile. It’s a bad time to find jobs. I’ll start some business. I am learning my way with clocks. Have other brothers too. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll move on to some other business.”
I thought to myself, yeah, Kolkata equally good for job seekers. Then I told him, “Kolkata does not distinguish one from the other. All are equal here.”
I turned my head to look inside the house. Dad’s clock was back on top of the cotswool on the bookshelf. Dad was standing in front of it. The terracotta watchman was on one side. On the other side, my mom was grinning behind the dusty picture frame.
The boy bowed down to show respect. Dad came near us. He bowed down for my dad and said, “Bye, then.”
He was about to get up. I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “Hold on, have a cup of tea.”
Dad said, “You really relieved me. I was so worried for days. How can we let you leave without some sweets? Go Mohan, get some sweets for him.”
“No, really, no need for sweets.”
“It’s all right. Have a seat. I’ll be back soon.”
I entered the room and opened the refrigerator. Nothing inside, it was totally empty. Just a dang acrid smell spread around the room. I told the maid who helps in doing chores, “Lokkhi, go get some sweets for ten rupees.”
My wife asked, “Who came so early in the morning?”
“He came to return the clock. Send a cup of tea for him. I am sending Lokkhi out to get some sweets.”
My wife was steaming milk. She snubbed me immediately, “Just give him tea, no sweets.”
“Dad already offered. It doesn’t look nice if we don’t bring sweets now. Does it? Lokkhi, go now.”
“No, Lokkhi cannot leave. Dad this and dad that. Stupid fuss all the time!”
Finally, I put on a shirt, put my wallet in my pocket, and left the house. I returned, put the packet of sweets in the kitchen, and went to the verandah. Dad’s story was nearing the climax …
“… We also swore, if one Hindu dies, we’ll kill ten Muslims. An inferno was burning within us. Jinnah’s Direct Action; the call to the Muslim youth by the chief minister of Muslim League, Suhrawardy, to be prepared with all their might; one by one the Hindu stores were getting ransacked – large shops like Jawaharlal Pannalal, Kamalalay Stores, KC Stores. They marked the Muslim stores to save them from looting. They even saved some ambulances for the Muslims assuming that there would be trouble. They gathered knives and daggers, petrol, and kerosene using the car of the Muslim League Chief Minister and stored them for the Muslim League members.
I looked at Samu’s son. His eyes were distended as if they would come out of the sockets; his lips were slightly parted, parched dry. I could feel that he was breathing through them. I said in a low voice, “Dad!”
“They did not realize that we were also prepared. We wrapped balls of rags and dipped them in kerosene. We made bombs. Some, who were in the Territorial Army Brigades, supplied us with guns. Resistance squads were put in place with bombs, clubs, and guns.”
I knew what Dad would say after this. Today he was giving a brief version, still I knew what came next. The boy was looking at Dad with flinty eyes. Ragged breath was tossing around in my chest. I must stop Dad. I raised my voice and bellowed, “Dad, Dad, He is …”
Dad howled, “Vande Mataram! They killed many Hindus at Fears Lane, Sagar Dutta Lane. We decided if we see one dead Hindu, we’ll run down ten of them. We rescued Hindus on one side and took revenge of the murder of the Hindus on the other. Dead bodies filled Kolkata, and that was the time when I looted this clock from the inner quarters of a Muslim house. That was 1946. What year is this? How many years has it been?”
Sweat was trickling down his face. His eyes were blood-shot red. The wings of his nose billowed out. His fists were clenched hard. Samu’s son was sitting erect, his back straightened.  I had to stop Dad in any way I could. I screamed as loud as I could, “Dad, Dad!” to stop him.
Dad’s face reddened and grew somber. He screamed even louder than me, “Hush! Just keep quiet. Coward! Spineless eunuch.”
The words hammered my chest – coward – eunuch!
“What have you done for the country? What did your generation do for the country? All cowards, bunch of gutless impotent!”
I pounded on the table and shrieked, “We brought down the Babri Mosque. What else do you want?”
Dad lowered his voice. The veins in his neck throbbed up and down, like water poured on boiling milk. He pressed both of his hands on his chest and said, “Yes, that’s the only achievement of your generation, but we expected far more from you.”
The words rose from my navel, “We’ll make India a Hindu State.”
Dad got up from his chair and went inside the room. He stood in front of the clock motionless. Samu’s son rose from his chair, “I’ll leave now.”
“Well, I didn’t even get to know your name.”
“Please pay the repair charge – two hundred.”
Two hundred rupees! Just now he said it was nothing. Got stuck a little, a bit of oiling and that’s it. Then? Two hundred for that?   Muttering under my breath, I opened my wallet and paid him.
“Here are the sweets for you. Won’t you have them?”
“You can come to the store if you have any problem.” The boy jumped out and exited. The clock chimed melodiously at eight, ding dong. After so many days.

The next morning.
Early in the morning, Samsuddin opened the gate and entered our house. First, I was surprised – so early in the morning, what could it be? Then I thought, his son had taken two hundred rupees, so perhaps he was ashamed and came to inquire how the clock was running. Perhaps to make a plea to get it fixed by him if it broke down again – something like that.
I smiled as I opened the door, “What’s up? You?”
“Surprised? Why? Shouldn’t I come here? I haven’t been to this place in a long time, so I came.”
Samu sat down. With chin hanging down, he pondered something. Then he said, “I needed to talk to you, so I had to run down here.”
“Why? What’s the matter?”
“My son did wrong yesterday, so I had to come here.” Samu fingered his pocket. “I didn’t tell him to take money from you. I do not understand why he did so.” Then Samsuddin stuffed two hundred rupees in my palm.
“I understand little of the boys of today, a lot I don’t. He returned from this place and threw the money on my lap and said it’s from the clock repair. Then he took a bath and left for the mosque. At other times, we just have to nag and nag to get him to the mosque. Yesterday he was somewhat … But, I told him again and again before coming here, it’s my friend’s house. Then why?  Why did he do this? Why did he take two hundred rupees on a whim? That’s why I came. Please forgive him.” Samsuddin paused a little.
His face turned red. Patterns of sweat appeared all over. He pulled out a white handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his face. He breathed in deep, filling his lungs and then said, “Don’t worry about the clock. This clock will run for a long time. Long, long time.”
I heard my dad, his coughing, the sound of his steps coming towards the verandah. I turned the chair around to cover the door, I tried to hide Samsuddin. I whispered to him, “Samu, you have come here after such a long time. Would you like to go to Gopal’s or Biru’s house? Let’s go, Samu, let’s go. We haven’t gone anywhere together in so long. Let’s go; we, all four of us, let’s go somewhere.”



Jayanta Dey

Jayanta Dey

Jayanta Dey is a Bengali Novelist and short story writer, born on 29th February 1964 in the Howrah district. He has been the editor of Sarir O Sasthya, Bengal’s leading health magazine and presently is the Editor of Saptahik Bartaman Magazine. He has been actively associated with many magazines and a noted contributor to the contemporary Bengal literature.  One of his famous novel is “Natajanu“. He has been awarded with Somenchandra Smriti Puroskar, Golpomela Puroskar, Sailojananda Smriti Puroskar, Sopan Puroskar, etc.]

Bashu Das

Bashu Das

Bashu Das (a.k.a. KP Das) was a physicist and a research scientist in data and telecommunications engineering by profession. He teaches Mathematics. Physics, and Network Design at New Jersey Universities and Colleges. He writes poetry, travelogue, memoirs, and translates Bengali stories and plays.


  1. Utkarsh Sinha


    • Kamala P Das

      Thank you, Utkarsh Sinha.

  2. Rumu DasGupta

    Bashu, I read the story. It will be wrong to say I enjoyed it. It saddened me to no end. There is no escaping this horrendous anti-Muslim mindset that runs through so many in such an ugly, grating way . But in this story it came so unexpectedly. It kind of blindsided me Your rendition of the story did not lose the shock of this sudden unexpected, heartbreaking twist. Well done!!

    • Bashu Das

      Rumu, Thank you. The credit goes to Mr. Jayanta Dey, the author of the story. I loved the story as it exposes the racism many of us harbor in such an unexpected way. I am glad my rendition ‘did not lose the shock’.


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