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A voyage to epistolary pad

"More than kisses letters mingle souls." ---John Donne

Published : Saturday, 20 May, 2017 at 12:00 AM Count : 211
Rahman M Mahbub

"More than kisses letters mingle souls."
---John DonneThe power and significance of writing letter was such an amazing feeling of an era. Letter writing was once a normal part of our life. But nowadays, with hundreds of communication technologies people moved away from writing letter. There are some exceptions and Shahina Subhan is one of them who feel the urge to revive the art of letter-writing in a book form to remind us about the lost art and the age-old tradition of the world.
Shahina has got intimate passion for expressing her own feelings and thoughts through these letters of her book Dinjaponer Khosra (The Draft of the Style of Living).
The book includes letters that speak of the author's romantic spirit as well as her awareness of the reality amidst which she lives.
The letters hint towards the author's fine sensibility, social responsibility and brilliant craftsmanship.
The collection comprises forty six letters of different sizes and moods. The very title of the book appears to be quite interesting as it reminds us of the style or art of living. We speak words either inwardly or outwardly, and it is words that made us feel that perhaps we are not completely alone. Through words we can see the world, its colours, textures and sounds. Shahina introduces such a world of words before us.
It seems that the protagonists of this book are author's grandmother, father and mother. Through their courage, pain and pleasure, she has metaphorically portrayed the pain and pleasure of the then East Pakistan and new born Bangladesh. Symbolically, the birth of author's brother 'Joy' represents the birth of our beloved country Bangladesh in 1971.
The book is enriched with a lot of references, characters, events and historical incidents of '52, '69, and '71. It also encompasses the author's surroundings till 2015.
The narrations of the author give an impression to the readers that she is a voracious reader. Her study of world literature from her father's library has shaped her inner spirit and vision of life.
She portrays life with its hue and colour. Sometimes she seems highly emotional and romantic, sometimes she sketches the harsh reality of life -- the eventful 1971, Famine of 1974. The ups and downs of everyday life are depicted in a skilful way. The blend of romanticism and realism has made her letters charming and fascinating.
Her prose is poetic and lucid. She is witty in her presentation. As a result, the reader will find the book interesting.
There is a proverb, "The word that is heard perishes, but the letter that is written remains." I believe the words in her letters are going to be lived in the minds of readers as these letters depict not only her personal life, experiences and observations but also the living history of Bangladesh along with its socio-cultural history.

The writer teaches at the Department of English, City University

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