Revisiting Banaphool's Stories

Banaphool, 1899-1979 No life can simply be subsumed under a single category- nor is it possible to come up a single term to define life’s fluxes or flavors. One particular moment might sometimes outshine decades. Similarly, the experience decades often can divulge the unavoidable truths human life. The Banaphool (pen name Balai Chand Mukhopadhyay) comes up with such truths through the twists and turns his stories. When I got hold a copy the selection his best stories titled, Nirbachito Chotogolpo, I expected stories mostly moralizing, often contemplating rooted culture and practices, and undoubtedly uniform in diction—virtues most his contemporaries aspire to. But surprisingly, I discovered a completely unknown Balai Chand Mukhopaddhay, under the pen name of Banaphool, whose fictional realm is overwhelmed with not--ordinary moments of ordinary beings. Certainly, it is not a mythical world Banaphool aspires to build up with words, but rather a world where reality is the cornerstone and the writer, a mason of words. The collection comprises of sixteen stories, almost none of which exceeds four to five pages. Though Banaphool does not disrupt his stories structurally, he is experimental at times as […]

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