On the borders of two Bengals

©Manpreet Romana/NYT
Bangladeshi man runs across a makeshift bridge, as it starts to rain in Cooch Bihar district in the Indian State of West Bengal. © Manpreet Romana/NYT

In November 2012, The New York Times ran two paired pieces written from both sides of the Bengal border.

Jyoti Rahman analyzes both articles: “Naeem is a few years older than me, and Mr Ray is likely to be slightly younger. That means, all of us were born decades after partition. Ours is the generation that has not known Pakistan in Bengal. Ours is the generation that has no lived experience of 1971. Both writers describe what the ‘other’ Bengal has meant to them over the years. Obviously I can relate to Naeem’s story, but I don’t share his conclusion. And while I find Ray’s story interesting for its misconception, I do relate to the way his story ends.”

Jyoti Rahman: Being Bengali in a divided Bengal

Here are the original two articles that Jyoti is responding to.

“Instead of loop memories of a river cottage, perhaps it is better for us to think of ways to revive experiments like Juktakkhor. Once-twinned, now tragically separated, people cannot hope to now, after all this time, reverse midnight’s trajectory. But they can, at least, begin to work together as equals.”

Naeem Mohaiemen: Stranded on the Borders of Two Bengals

“In our conversations, we both avoid that which may be considered contentious. Instead we discuss the real issues that affect both of us — the best places to buy Bengali fish in the Washington, D.C., metro area and the selection strategies of Kolkata Knight Riders, Calcutta’s Indian Premier League cricket franchise, which I support and in which the Bangladeshi national hero and talented all-rounder Shakib Al Hassan plays.”

Arnab Ray: Cross-Border Bengali Pride Fades With a New Generation

One comment

  1. On the Border of two Bengal their is a small peace of land. Many deaths are attributed to this small piece of land. It is called CHIT MAHAL. This Chit Mahal is such that it was supposedly never well defined in border of West Bengal nor East Bengal. Thus guess who Claims CHIT MAHAL to be. It is supposedly Benjamin Netyanhu’s Israel..land. Do you wonder why so many people die ..it is same was TIBET is also claimed to be Benjamin Netyanhu Israels…some how world has given world wide Jurisdiction…to either kill of their own or..killing by pitting one against the others…

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