Author: Syed Mustafa Siraj
Translator(s): Sudeshna Chakravarty
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8126021144
The novel is one of the most significant works of modern Bengali fiction. It presents an arresting picture of the turmoil going on in Bengali Muslim Society at the closing end of the nineteenth century. The setting is rural North Bengal, which the author knows well. The central characters are Badi-uz-zaman and his son The Safi. The former, based, in part, on the author’s grandfather, leads a movement for the reform of Islam.
This includes a stricter, more puritanical way of life, abolition of pirs or holy men and so on. Ironically, Badi himself comes to be venerated as a pir by his followers. The movement is not very successful and brings disaster to his own family. Safi, a rebel against his family and the moral code of his community, moves between anti-British terrorism and sheer anarchy. The fascinating tale moves backward and forward, from the turn of the century to modern times and has a touch of what has been called magic realism.