The pages of Bengali
poet, playwright and novelist, Syed Shamsul Haq
imaginary township and surrounding villages, set by Syed-Haq in the
north-eastern corner of Bangladesh has featured heavily in his work
since 1974. It is loosely-based upon Kurigram, one of the
most impoverished districts of Bangladesh and the town of his birth.
derived from two Bengali words: Jal (water) and Iswari (Goddess).
Legend has it that the Goddess appeared as a poor woman to a boatman,
asking him to take her across the river as a favour. The boatman
Once across the
river, the Goddess appeared in her full splendour and granted him
whatever his heart desired. Rather than ask for untold riches, the
boatman merely asked that his children would never want for milk and
Through the ordinary
lives of Jaleswari's ordinary residents, Syed-Haq upholds an image of Bangladesh that
portrays the socio-cultural and myth-realism of a nation that has
emerged through a baptism of fire...