Essays & Interviews
All around me the brown faces are my face, and their retroflex consonants also curl the tip of my tongue and ricochet off my palate. And as I wander through the bazaars, elbow-to-elbow amidst locals and tourists, I find I am nostalgic for memories of a life I did not live and to which I can never return.
While West Pakistan controlled Bangladesh, all visible manifestations of culture and
nationalism were suppressed. The suppression became more and more violent over time, as intellectuals actively urged Bengalis to be proud of their own culture and heritage and to resist Pakistani control. Nearly 1,000 academics, journalists, physicians, lawyers, writers, artists, and engineers were murdered, and my Nani and Dada were two of few who escaped this systematic slaughter.