Before I review this book, I think few key things to call out: Bangla is my second language and this is my very first review in my native language. That Agnivo thought I was worthy to even review this, means a lot to me. Given the current political context, this book of poems hits home like no other.
My perspective is biased (not to the poet but to the context) hence discretion is advised.
These poems have in its core a deep seated nationalism – one that has been invoked in Bengal time to time, ever since Bengali Nationalist Movement. So when in 2021 Bengal was slated for Legislative Assembly and there was an impending wave of change, most Bangali’s were both fearful and excited.
But one common theme reigned, protibad / revolt against the perceived tyrannies of our times spearheaded by a political agenda. Why is there a need for this explanation? If this context is not kept as a backdrop, it is hard to truly appreciate the writing, the reference and literature is but a mirror of the society. It is like literary history of our current times, no matter what your ideologies are.
My thoughts ~
I was touched to be able to read and witness this change, even as probashi living some 1200 km away. I too was feeling the emotions, the trepidation and zeal to truly take a stand. Having said this, this is Bengal’s collective perception of our times. This book of poems will be testament of finding a voice of protest against injustice.
Agnivo is a terrific writer, his command over the language is established long back. Avid reader, history lover, literally stands tall of the familiar Bengal we truly love. His passion for Bengal, led by his staunch ideology has been beautifully encapsulated in this book. What we felt in degrees and he expressed this and so much better too.
Few of his writing haunts me:
This book touches upon various themes and issues : women’s safety, failure of judiciary, monopoly of media, freedom of expression, oppression etc – Some of the leading issues that are country wide, only bravely protested upon by Bengali and acing it. First by the popular song by Artists United and now by this lovely book of poems.
I am reading Bangla after eons (not proud) so definitely I was rusty. But this book of poems took me a while to process because of the emotions it invoked!
If you sync with this ideology or not, this is truly well written!! Will remain a testament of the Protibaad that fuelled the Poriborton, that Bengal choose!
Leaving with a parting quote ~