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Memories of Arrival
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Memories of Arrival
A Voice from the Margins

Critical Acclaim


January 2022 | 344 pages | Samya SAGE Select
Translated for the first time into English, Memories of Arrival brings together four books of a migrant’s story of displacement and exile in one volume. Adhir Biswas, a Dalit, makes the subalterns gain some visibility.

The author, though half-starved, gets an education. He finds possibilities, delighting in the city of Calcutta, making the most of what he can. He finds a place in the book world, finally emerging as the distinguished editor and publisher of Gangchil and Doel.

Adhir Biswas writes quietly and tersely, with much unsaid, to depict a life where the past and the present keep coalescing with dreams of the old place and the dreaminess of the new land. His story has much in common with that of migrants who leave a village or a small town to come to a big city and live in its shadows.
 
In the Author’s Words
 
Introduction by Janam Mukherjee
 
A Note by the Translator, V. Ramaswamy
 
A Note on Kinship
 
A Note on the Bengali Calendar
 
BOOK I: IN ALLAH'S LAND
 
Preface: One Step at a Time
 
Setting Foot on Allah’s Land
 
What Did Baba Write?
 
The Old School: The Red Colour Book
 
It Was to Take Me That the Train Arrived
 
The First Lie
 
Bed Number Twenty-Eight
 
The Silver Screen of Madhumati
 
Rani not Kuti
 
Dewdrops
 
Fortune Smiled at Dawn
 
Barefoot, Alta on the Feet
 
The World of Weeds
 
Dadu Was Looking for a Second-Time Groom
 
The Cross Mark
 
Small Pica, a Rupee and a Half
 
The Make-Belief Shop
 
The Wheel of the Returning Chariot
 
Rubia/Chikan and Puffed Sleeves
 
Still Weeping
 
Had I Been Able to Inspire with Dreams?
 
BOOK II: A REFUGEE ALMANAC
 
Preface: Is a Country Only Dreams and Memories?
 
Are You the One Who ...?
 
An Ear of Paddy and a Blade of Grass
 
Tenant Wanted: A Small Role
 
How Much Would Saira Have Asked For?
 
The Maidan on 23 January
 
Strangers
 
Padabali Kirtan
 
A Small-Size Letter, Arun Sanyal
 
Was the Minister Himself Taking the Bribe?
 
Fragrant Flower Incense
 
Do You Want to Hear How I Got the Money?
 
The East Bengal Ground, Thangaraj at the Goal
 
Is It All from College?
 
Rupu’s Dot
 
BOOK III: LET’S GO TO INDIA! Uttam–Suchitra’s Calcutta through Refugee Eyes
 
Preface: The Heart of Calcutta
 
I Live in the City of Uttam–Suchitra
 
Once the Chain Began Landing—Run Man, Run!
 
Days of Looking for Work
 
Calcutta’s Far Away
 
Wasn’t There a Sari That Belonged to Ma?
 
Inquilab Zindabad!
 
I Left the Country after Being Promoted to Class Six
 
Barbodhu and Miss Shefali
 
Dada, Two on the Side
 
Sackcloth Cinema, Nineteen Paise
 
Santoshda Didn’t Return to the Village
 
I Don’t Want to Weep like Dada
 
Independence Day, Free Cinema
 
A Wretched Face
 
Calcutta ’71
 
BOOK IV: A FLAVOUR OF THE MAIDAN
 
Preface: The Calcutta Maidan through Refugee Eyes
 
Rivers and Streams, Hilsa Fish and Village
 
The Maidan for a Hundred-Thousand
 
This River, That Bank
 
Had the Corpse Decomposed?
 
There’s No One Nearby Now
 
The Late Subedar
 
Since When, Kid?
 
Why Had He Held Me So Tight?
 
Won’t You Collect the Body?
 
We’re Going through the Maidan Now
 
Could One Climb Up the Wall of Victoria Memorial?
 
Tenants of Fort William
 
Why So Many Questions?
 
The Red Light Lane
 
Badal Sarkar

Adhir Biswas

Adhir Biswas has lived in Kolkata since 1967. He began to write in 1976, aged twenty-two, contributing fiction and nonfiction to little magazines. He ran a bookshop for many years. He is the well-known editor of Gangchil and Doel. The first volume of his memoir won the Suprabha Majumdar Memorial Prize by the Bangla Academy of the Government of West Bengal in 2014. He was awarded the Vidyasagar Memorial Prize for children’s literature by the West Bengal government in 2017. More About Author

V. Ramaswamy

V. Ramaswamy took up literary translation of subaltern writing after almost two decades of social and grassroot activism in his city, Kolkata, for and with the labouring poor. He has translated The Golden Gandhi Statue from America: Early Stories, Wild Animals Prohibited: Stories / Anti-stories, and This Could Have Become Ramayan Chamar’s Tale: Two Anti-Novels, by Subimal Misra, and the novel The Runaway Boy, by Manoranjan Byapari. He was awarded the inaugural Literature Across Frontiers – Charles Wallace India Trust fellowship in 2016. More About Author

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ISBN: 9789381345733
₹595.00