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(6)Interview>Nazib Wadood with Bangla Literature (part 2)
Bangla Literature : Short story is a result of 
agony of the age; –how do you explain this observation?
Nazib Wadood : That’s true. But it should be 
truer if you say it ‘conscience of the age’, I think. Doesn’t 
short story express joy and happiness too? Actually, 
success of a story depends mainly on its ability of 
containing trends and conscience of the concerned time 
and people. Though a successful story is to cross its age, 
it makes it possible by unexceptionally holding in it all 
the marks of its own age.
Bangla Literature : In your stories of Kak O 
Curfew (1998), pictures of a specific period of time have 
been drawn– the period of 1982-90 of autocracy; some 
kinds of influence of ‘politics’ are observed in these 
stories. But in Noshto Kal Othoba Ridoyer Oshukh (2008), 
we see different colors of life…
Nazib Wadood : You are right. That was a 
period of turmoil in the history of Bangladesh. Autocratic 
rule, movement against it and criminalization of politics 
were the cardinal features of that period which have been 
manifested in most of the stories of Kak O Curfew, e.g. 
‘Kak’, ‘Curfew’, ‘Bhognojatra’, etc. But these stories are 
not time-bound at all. You will see these are equally 
relevant with the features of ’60s and ’70s too. The other 
stories of this book are of different subjects and tastes, 
e.g. ‘Meghbhanga Rod’ is a story based on spirit of the 
Liberation War. It is also a picture of struggle of our 
farmers against the challenges of time and nature. ‘Britto’ 
points out endeavors of overcoming the challenges of 
middleclass life. In ‘Pichhutan’, the power of relations of 
blood has been examined against adverse socio-
economic situations. ‘Ondhogoli’ gives a picture of 
hardship of life of common people in that period. Yes, 
then I was very much concerned with politics. But these 
stories are not ‘political’ or ‘proletariat’ at all. 
On the other hand, I have tried to change and improve 
my stories in my second book Noshto Kal Othoba 
Ridoyer Oshukh. Its subject matters are multi-colored. 
There are some experiments of language and form. Many 
critics have termed ‘Abad’, ‘Jionkathi’, ‘Khonon’ and ‘Aro 
Duti Khun’ of this book as first grade stories. 
Bangla Literature : ‘Abad’ is based on Nakshal 
Movement…
Nazib Wadood : No, that’s not true, though 
there are contexts related to Nakshal Movement in it. 
Jaglu, the protagonist of the story, was a village youth, 
completely unconscious of politics. His friend Seraj 
somehow got involved with Nakshals and he used him, 
out of his knowledge, in his expedition. Seraj was killed 
by Rakkhi Bahini and Jaglu was jailed. This unwanted 
incident completely changed Jaglu and made him a new 
man. Returning home from jail, he started cultivating his 
infertile lands and proposed to marry Rupa, a woman 
who had been divorced for her alleged sterility. Thus he 
emerged as an active and pragmatic man with a new 
practical wisdom (not political utopia). A pro-fertile love 
of two young boy and girl in a state-oppressed society 
and struggle for production in barren lands of the 
Barendra region, these two aspects have intermingled in 
the story. 
Bangla Literature : Smart language, appropriate 
dialogues with local dialect and poetic narration have 
made the story achieve artistic excellence and attractive as 
well. The story touches readers’ minds so sensibly that 
after completion of reading, they can’t but continue to 
meditate with it… many critics have opined verbally and 
in black and white that ‘Abad’ is one of the best stories of 
Bangla Literature. What do you think?
Nazib Wadood : [laugh] I should remain tight-
lipped, isn’t it? And I would like to jump to ask you to 
comment on ‘Jionkathi’.  
Bangla Literature : [laugh] I am the interviewer, 
not you! Whatsoever, if you insist me, I shall say that it is 
a poem. 
Nazib Wadood : Poem? Do you mean it?
Bangla Literature : Yes, I mean it, but with an 
explanation… 
Nazib Wadood : I am listening…
Bangla Literature : It is a short story, really short 
in volume, written with poetic concreteness. It is full of 
imaginations, imageries, symbols and visions. Actually, it 
is a narrative of anti-terrorist sentiment. It could be 
transformed into a pamphlet of propaganda with 
proletariat slogans, but you controlled yourself and drove 
it very efficiently to achieve artistic excellence. Am I 
right?  What do you think?
Nazib Wadood : Right. The five children of the 
two brothers have heard that one of their fathers has 
been killed. They know neither the reason behind it, nor 
the consequence of it. But they ultimately come to know 
that he is a martyr and he shall be given shelter in the 
heaven where everything is instantly available. So the 
children wish to become martyr. When they go to sleep, 
their mothers begin to weep and their grandfather comes 
out to take care of them. He falls asleep with them but 
suddenly wakes up and starts to push them to be awake. 
Bangla Literature : Everything has been said 
symbolically. Another very short story of this book is 
‘Mrityunjoy Mara Gechhe’ (Mrityunjoy Has Died). It was 
first published in Porilekh. Then it was shorter. It has 
become a little longer in the book. Why? Don’t you think 
that poetic concreteness and charm of the first version 
has been lost to some extent in the second version?
Nazib Wadood : In a written discussion, poet-
critic Khurshid Alam Babu first raised the question. You 
joined him. However, there are some other readers who 
opine differently.  In the second version, I have only 
detailed characteristics, daily routines and mental trends 
of the three friends to justify their positions in the society 
and consequences of their fates. 
Bangla Literature : But if you tell a story in ten 
lines it creates strong reactions in reader’s mind and 
brain, that may fail to make when you try to tell it in ten 
pages. The main focus may lose its significance, isn’t it?
Nazib Wadood : It can be thought this way, no 
doubt, but I should say that difference of volume of the 
two versions is not more than one page; and I believe the 
main focus of the story hasn’t been displaced or distorted 
for that.   
Bangla Literature : An opposite thing has 
happened in case of ‘Britta’, I guess. This story can be 
more detailed. The Mili character should be more vivid 
and stronger...
Nazib Wadood : Poet-critic Dr. Fazlul Haq 
Tuhin and short story writer Ashrafuddin Ahmad earlier 
in their write-ups presented the same observations. I 
didn’t answer then. Now I shall say to explain that in 
‘Britta’, the main protagonist Rokan is a young medical 
student who is about to improve his socio-economic 
position from low-income category to middle class. His 
own psycho-analysis during the process of this 
transformation, and in parallel to it, the real socio-
economic situation that creates contradictions in and 
outside, are in the main focus of the story. Mili  and some 
other characters are auxiliary. I think excessive details 
could destroy concreteness of psycho-analysis and 
narration of the story. Rokan, out of his conscious and 
intellectual emotion, tries to overcome the challenges of 
middle class life but we see that in spite of all his efforts, 
he fatefully gets bound in the vicious circle. On the other 
hand, Mili is being brought up as an apple of a wealthy 
family who knows nothing about the harshness of life. 
Extra focus on Mili seemed to be imposed. However, 
[laugh] difference of observations of the readers and 
critics perhaps proves multifaceted significance of an art.
Bangla Literature : We can define short story as 
a point of pause of life because it doesn’t allow entrance 
of numerous characters and vast perspectives. But we see 
in your ‘Megh Vanga Rod’ various kinds of joy and 
sorrows, pictures of decaying society, multilateral aspects 
of family- relations, daily life of struggling farmers... and 
many other ingredients to play important role in making 
the story. Do you think it has mutilated speciality of short 
story? 
Nazib Wadood : There might be some 
ingredients of novel in this story, but nothing has been 
taken unnecessarily, I think. This story has two aspects– 
life of a farmer family in one hand, and challenges of 
critical relations between a father and a son. The crisis has 
actually been created during the Liberation War in 1971 
when Tamizuddin fled away to save his life leaving his 
wife back in home to be burnt to death. Returning home 
after liberation, his son, freedom-fighter Ramiz couldn’t 
accept this reality. Psycho-analysis is the main thing in 
this story but that has been manifested through the daily 
activities of the farmer family. 
Bangla Literature : Do you think that this story 
written about twenty years back would be changed if you 
write it now?
Nazib Wadood : Actually, this story can’t be 
written now. If I try, it would be a new story, because 
neither I nor the time and people remain the same now.  
Bangla Literature : Why have you termed the 
stories of Comrade O Kiritch  a novella?
Nazib Wadood : There are contradictory 
opinions about definitions and characteristics of novella. 
I am also confused. There are five long stories in it. 
‘Comrade O Kiritch’ was published as a novel, ‘Dokhol’ 
and ‘Valo O Monda’ (The Good and the Bad) as short 
story, and ‘Nona Prem’ (Salted Love) and ‘Kanna-Hasir 
Brttanta’ as long story. These stories taste short novels. 
Finally, you can consider these as short stories.
Bangla Literature : Very live pictures of our 
villages have been drawn in these stories except ‘Valo O 
Monda’ that compares high and low society people in 
city life. As additional gains we see in these stories 
shadows of contemporary criminalized and corrupt 
politics have covered over the society. 
Nazib Wadood : I have written these stories as 
exercises before going to write novel.   
Bangla Literature : Padmabati Kingba Sundori 
Meyetir Nak Boncha (Padmabati Or The Beautiful Girl’s 
Nose Is Snub) is a turning point, where you have written 
some other kinds of stories, it seems to me. You didn’t 
write stories like ‘Shahid Idu Kanar Bow’, ‘Aposh’, 
‘Ontorgata’ and ‘Ekjon Protibondhi O Ekti Mohasoroker 
Golpo’ earlier.
Nazib Wadood : I have tried. I think 
‘Padmabati’ is the best story in this book. 
Bangla Literature : It’s also one of the best 
stories of the contemporary Bangla Literature, I see. 
Environmental crisis ensued due to dying of the Padma 
river and crises of life and livelihood of the people on the 
northern bank of the river have been trustfully drawn as 
well as complex human relations created by those crises 
have also been explained competently in this story. But I 
am fond of ‘Sundori Meyetir Nak Boncha’. Is it a love 
story?
Nazib Wadood : It’s actually a satire. Its theme 
is ‘Grapes are Sour’.
Bangla Literature : Language of this story is 
very playful. Drawing of environment and characters is 
also very attractive. But at the ending the writer straightly 
entered the story– ‘Oh God! I came to my senses. How 
experienced his eyesight is! Keen-sighted it is called! I 
thought, yes, it’s true! If the nose looks like a Jamrul, 
then it should obviously be flat, ugly and blunt!’ Ahmad 
Mostofa Kamal once said in reply to a reaction made by 
me on one of his story that he supported entrance of the 
writer into the story if it was artistically done. What is 
your opinion?
Nazib Wadood : Firstly, I would like to remind 
you that ‘Sundori Meyetir Nak Boncha’ is written in first 
person, i.e. the writer himself is the protagonist. So 
writer’s direct presence is very much usual in this case. 
Secondly, presence or absence of the writer in the story is 
a question of form. If form demands, or at least allows, 
the writer must be present in the story. If the writer can 
justify his position it would obviously increase quality 
and attraction of the writing.  
Bangla Literature : We notice this style in your 
some other stories too; e.g. in ‘Curfew’: ‘Sakhina, as if this 
city, or this country, or the world itself, is standing there 
on the street– she wears a shattered sari, there is no 
blouse to cover her bosoms marked with bloody 
scratches of fingernails and teeth, young shoot-like 
tender lips are injured with molesting poison…’; in ‘The 
Crow’: ‘And the crows are cawing and sitting sometimes 
on the roof, and sometimes on the branches of the fig-
tree; again impatiently fly away to circle over the crowd of 
the people like fighter planes’; in ‘Abad’: ‘And under 
someone’s unseen design, preparation for cultivation of 
something starts’.
Nazib Wadood : These should be read with 
their contextual continuity. Conclusion of a story is very 
important to understand it. I don’t straightly follow the 
long-practised theory– ‘It shouldn’t end even after being 
ended’, but I try to do something so that the reader is 
instigated to continue to read and think with it within 
him.
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