Galpa - Short Stories by Women from Bangladesh by Niaz Zaman and Azim Firdous (eds)

Galpa - Short Stories by Women from Bangladesh

Niaz Zaman and Azim Firdous (eds)

A book of short stories written by women from Bangladesh. However, if you don't usually read translations, don't let this put you off. I inadvertently assumed the stories, as they were written by women, would be 'flowery and feminine', This is not the case. Issues raised cover customs, family life, male jealousy, snobbery and poverty. Indeed they don't shy away from these controversial subjects. An interesting read if, like me, you live many miles away from Bangladesh and are interested in other cultures.

Hashu Banu came from a neighbouring village. As a child, with her hair like a crow's nest, she would come to this village and pick kalmi and helencha leaves beside the pond and gather snails for her ducks. She would wear a torn sari tied round her waist or a dirty frock. This same girl - how she grew! Lal Miah saw her at his cousin's wedding and fell madly in love with her. At the wedding of Samir Munshi's daughter, Hashu was wearing a red and yellow printed sari. She was joking and laughing with all the other young girls. Her crow's-nest hair, styled with borrowed oil and comb, now fell below her waist. She had made up her eyes with kohl, her forehead with a tip.
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