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Dalia Choudhury



Dalia Choudhury


The Manu-script of Bow-barrack

The Manu-script of Bow-barrack

4 mins 189 4 mins 189

A mutilated tail, scars on the body, puss oozing out of the body’s

abscesses, people called him Atom. No one had seen the dog before and

its constitution made everyone aghast. All were frightened of him

although the dog did no harm to anyone. It used to hanker after

persons who had books or newspapers in their hands.  Some thought, it

was possessed by an evil spirit who might have been a writer and died

an unnatural death. A pious person brought the dog to his house and

nursed it, fed it. One day, the dog leaped after seeing a picture of a young lady in the front page of a paper; the lady bagged a prize for

her contributions to the field of Literature. The pious man(Austin, an

Anglo-Indian),now knew that the dog was mastered by that lady whose

picture appeared in the newspaper.

 It was a town called, “Barrack-pore”, because the British had built

up barracks for their soldiers; it was amidst lush-green trees, ponds,

numerous playgrounds; the British left that place but the town’s name

sustained (bearing testimony that the atrocities, shrills were

reverberating); but also, there were the schools of that era which

were made of thatched roofs and mud ( as time passed, only a few such

classrooms sustained, one of which an old library); the thatched roofs

were replaced by asbestos and the mud rooms were smeared with a

concoction of cement and sand); the best memories of that era was that

anyone could use that library from the age of 11. There were a very

few people who befriended the library, who loved the smell of old &

new books, who caressed every book with care, who embraced the books

to his bosom with warmth; however, women were not allowed to fall in

love with the library!

Shimul was the most coveted reader of the library; his grandmother

christened him so during his naming ceremony because his body was even

softer than the silk-cotton (Shimul meant silk-cotton in English). He

was a meritorious student since his childhood and no sooner he turned

11, he started visiting the library.  His grandparents reared him as a

child as his parents succumbed to an unrest when they visited a

market-place when Shimul was just a year old; Shimul’s parents died

because of bullet which pierced their chests; they were farmers by

force, they belonged to a lofty lineage, an eve the women of their

house received house-education from private tutors; the women were

well versed in Literature, Maths, Sanskrit & they also secretly

learned English. They were stripped off their property and so, they

had chosen to cultivate their fields; on asking for a legitimate

price, a brawl developed between a British officer and Shimul’s

parents, and, adding fuel to the fire was a close friend of Shimul’s

father who triggered the officer; now, Shimul’s parents were between

the devil & the deep blue sea. To bury the hatchet, he officer shot

bullets & the couple succumbed on spot. As their biers were made

already, a note was secretly found by one of the closest friends of

Shimul’s father, and in no time, the letter was handed over to

Shimul’s grandmother; the whereabouts of the letter, still unknown!

The above lines were written by an author who resides now in a

posh-house of Bow-barracks, another locality adjacent to Barrackpore.

The dog was the boy whom she loved and was a soldier whose body was

mutilated, it roamed in the town to catch a glimpse of Shimul who was

writing a story of her past life, not knowing she was a girl whom her

grandparents disguised as a boy; they met at the library to read and

exchanged pleasantries but the mild jokes turned into a passionate

love; both of them Shimul &Palash wanted to become writers though

Palash was forced to become a soldier.

He first manuscript was about Atom, her lover’s pet. But the script

disappeared. Her second story was about Justin, who was the priest who

wanted to culminate their love into marriage; her third manuscript was

about Shimul’s grandfather was the wicked bosom friend of Shimul’s

father; he last manuscript was about Shimul’s grandmother who was the

brute British officer who shot her parents.

The nights made her weave new stories, but, the days devoured her

stories; she is in quest of her lost people. Palash won the actual

prize as the best writer of the town called, Bow-barracks; but


Shimul was a suffering from PHENGOPHOBIA, she rested forever in the

graves of Bow-barracks, but could never write in darkness & she was

just a fragment of imagination of Palash!!!

No one in present times has ever heard the name of Barrackpore or even

Bow-barracks, because whoever wanted to write, were devoured by their own writing! The writers couldn't thrive,can the readers thrive???👻👻👻

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