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Memories of Arrival

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
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
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?
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
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
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

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ISBN: 9789381345733