There is a saying in Urdu and Hindi: “Der aaye durast aaye” – come late, come right. ” There is a synonym in English: “Better late than never” – rather than not at all. A little delay but another book I have translated is coming. A very important book: “War and Peace between Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.” Author Khushwant Singh. A compilation of reports he made to the New York Times during the War of Liberation. He has visited border areas, visited refugee camps, secretly interviewed General Osmani, Commander-in-Chief of the Bangladesh Army, Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora, Chief of Eastern Command, and Lt. Gen. Tikka Khan, Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan after Bangladesh’s independence. He also interviewed Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, Comrade Moni Singh, Professor Mozaffar Ahmed and many others. Many things have come up in his book about the period after the birth and independence of Bangladesh. An important book to know the history of independence of Bangladesh.
Those who are already familiar with Khushwant Singh’s writings have almost ingrained in their minds that Khushwant Singh’s writings are meant to be sexually suggestive or in many cases a story full of men and women having sex. But the number of his serious non-fiction books is not less and “War and Peace between Bangladesh, Pakistan and India” is one of his serious books. The writings in book form came to me 44 years after the book was published. The 152-page book was published in 1969 in Delhi by the Hind Pocket Book and cost six rupees. It never came to my notice as no other version of it was published later. I have been looking for the book for about fifteen years. From 1992 to 2009, the only activity on my annual visit to Delhi was to visit historical places, to buy books. Khan Market, Connaught Place, Dariaganj is one of the best places to buy books in Delhi. I used to walk around the places. But even in the old bookstores of Dariaganj, I could not find the book I wanted. No one heard the name. I found the book last year on the Internet. The Amazon price shows ১২ 124.99 cents. In addition, 4/5 dollars will be added to the shipping charge. Out of reach. But I can’t get the book out of my head. Find the book on the net as soon as you retire.
Finally, “Light at the End of the Tunnel.” I found the book to exist in Queens Public Library Systems. Of the five boroughs in New York City, Queens Borough is the richest in population and diversity. The Queens Public Library is similarly rich. It has 90 branches and about one and a half crore books. I know several Bangladeshi officials at the Queen’s Library. Abdullah Zahid is one of them. He is from Mymensingh. He studied at Fisheries University of Agriculture. After arriving in the United States with a degree in library science, he is currently the manager of the Hollis branch of the Queens Library. After telling him, he said, if there is a book, it must be found. A few days later, he announced that the book was not in the Queens Public Library system. However, it is in the library of Syracuse University. Bringing from there is not a problem. Anyone can easily borrow the required books under the book inter-library loan system. It will cost me about 25. I tell him ‘I don’t care,’ you bring it. The book arrives a few days later. He said, not ২৫ 25, but ১২ 12. The book was released in the first week of February. I can keep it until May. There is a scanner in the library. If I wish, I can take the scan print free of cost or keep the book with me for four months to meet my needs. Bring the book. I put all the translations on hold and started translating.
Raju, a new publishing house, contacted me at the stage of translating. Abu Bakr Siddique Raju. Not only sound education but his alertness and dedication too are most required. She found me a year ago. My birthplace ‘Sherpur’ was seen on the flap of a book and knocked on Facebook. His house is also in Sherpur. Has just come into the publishing business. There is a lot of talk. His interest in publishing surprised me. People in our area think of a job if they think of rice, jute cultivation and the business of these and beyond. No big leader has come in politics. Khandaker Abdul Hamid became a minister in the BNP government during Ziaur Rahman’s tenure. Matia Chowdhury has recently become a minister. In fact, he was not born in our area. Sherpur is his father-in-law’s house. There are less people to deal with books. When I was a school student, I understood library to be a bookstore, where school and college books, notebooks, pens, pencils, etc. are sold. Abdur Razzak was the owner of one of the two such libraries. He later became the president of Sherpur district BNP. Mr. Abdur Razzak probably published a novel written by him in 1986 called ‘Chalar Pathe’ on his own initiative. What is her condition? He became a celebrity in Sherpur. He was not old enough to judge the standard aspect of the novel. That was the beginning and probably the end when I was a student. I have not seen any other book published in Sherpur. But the business of publishing is completely different. That’s why Raju’s interest in publishing business surprised me.
However, at the stage of translating Khushwant Singh’s book, I told Raju that I would let him publish the book. As I said before, I make a lot of jokes about death. I am not afraid of death. But whenever I start translating a book, the thought of death is strong in me until I finish it
Abe works. Ten / twenty pages of an entire book are left to be translated if the angel of death comes and calls out, ‘Come on Mia, it’s too late’. What will happen to my unfinished work? I am no longer the friend of God, the Prophet Moses, that I will slap Azrael and drop an eye because I do not want to die! And Azrael will return to God and say, “Lord, he to whom you sent does not want to die.” So I have to die and I have to work with that thought in mind. I finished the translation of the book in time and sent it to Raju, probably in September last year. The overall situation in the country, including the Corona situation, was not conducive to the publishing business. If not, who will publish the book? Books are not food items that need to be bought to survive. Raju himself fell ill. Although not due to coronavirus, he was quite ill. There were doubts whether Ekushey Book Fair would be held or not. Thus the publication of the book was delayed. When the book fair started, Raju assured that there was no reason to worry, the book would be published soon.
Book Name: Bangladesh War and Peace between Pakistan and India