Is there a single story throughout people’s lives? Or there are twists and turns in life? Readers may not ask this question, but a novelist answers this question in his novel. A lot of ups and downs, a lot of demands, a lot of setbacks, there is joy or pain hidden somewhere in life, which may not be seen, but some people keep the story of that joy and pain in the velvet of the heart. That story spreads the unearthly magic of Purnima in the hidden corners of people’s minds. Purnendu Patri wrote, “Suppose one day if I drift away/ I too will have a golden cup filled with every day/ These thick colors, spring air, rain water./ Whenever happy water color pictures/ Will gradually shine like tarnished metal in the warm sun. “Refaat Al Hamid in his novel ‘Nivrit Purnima’ tells the story of the golden love carefully kept in the heart which remains the same bright in the minds of human beings for thousands of years and grows brighter and brighter with the touch of the tarnished metal of memory.
The main male character of the novel is Rupu. Studied and grew up in Dhaka. Rupu lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons and because of that Rupu has to make long trips to Dhaka two or three times a year. The main female character of the novel is Rini who lives in Kolkata. Rini’s husband and two children also live in Toronto. As a result Rini also has to travel from Kolkata to Toronto two or three times a year. Rini spent her school life in Dhaka where she studied in the same class with Rupu. Rini developed a deep love for Rupu during that teenage period. But Rupu lost confidence in the tension of his lower middle class family and did not respond to that love. Still, Rini’s youthful love remains like a fresh rose. Rupu also did not forget Rini. After finishing school, minority Rini’s family sent her to Kolkata. After finishing college there, Rini started working in engineering profession. Get married and start a family. Meanwhile, after facing thousands of adversities in the world, Rupu started working life after studying at Dhaka University. When Rupu Rini both reached their middle age, suddenly one day they both took off from Toronto on a Cathay Pacific flight on the same day. Rupur’s destination is Dhaka and Rini’s is Kolkata. Both had a long layover at the Hong Kong airport. During this interval, the two met in Rabindranath’s train room like a ‘sudden meeting’. The two started talking at the airport lounge. Both of them open their hearts and say the unspoken words of their hearts. They understand that ‘all the stars of the night lie deep in the light of day.’
A very popular literary form of modern times, the literal meaning of the novel is to set in a suitable or special form. The novelist presents the stories of human life in a particular time and place and paints a picture of the entire human life and society in the broad background of the novel. Novelist Refat’s novel ‘Nivrit Purnima’ begins before the Partition of 1947 when Rupur’s Dadajan and Nanajan marry each other’s sisters and buy a house in Bhavanipur, Kolkata. Rupur’s Dada and Nana were very close friends. Rupur’s grandfather and grandmother came to Bangladesh from India in 1948 when Rupur’s father was 12 years old. The author has also told the story of the financial tension of these two families after coming to the new country and the growing up of the family’s sons and daughters, their education, employment and marriage. So in the novel the stories of Rupur’s own and her parents as well as the stories of Rupur’s uncles and aunts and cousins also come up. Rini’s family, on the other hand, is relatively prosperous. Their original home is in Chittagong. Although the country was divided on the basis of religion, Rini’s family remained in Bangladesh later on. But in 1971, Rini’s younger son PC Shubhra was abducted by the Pakistani invaders, and the family gradually began to leave the country. A part of the family left the country and went to India in 1971. Then in 1976, 1987, 1992 the assassination of Bangabandhu, resettlement of religious groups in Bangladesh, Babri Masjid riots etc., gradually Rini’s uncle left Bangladesh and moved to India. So in the novel, the reader will also get to know the stories of Rini’s younger PC Shubra Eriksson, Rini’s other uncles and aunts, who left the country after independence and moved to Sweden and established themselves as an artist there. Along with that, you will know how Rini’s uncle PCs left Bangladesh and moved to India, holding each other’s hands and moving forward on the path of new life struggle. There is also the story of Shiulibu, the first woman in Rupur’s life, the feelings of Arnav, the first man in Rini’s life, the story of Mohsin Dadu, the son of Khan Bahadur’s family, the story of Nanijan’s ungrateful elder brother remaining unmarried, Rini’s friend Jamshed’s Muslim boy from Hyderabad, the story of the pain of minority oppression, Rupur Nanajan’s caretaker Rehmat Chacha’s sigh of unhappy marriage… So many other stories in the novel ‘Nivrit Purnima’. Apart from Rupu Rini’s sweet love story, the life stories of so many people have been written by the novelist Refat in an extraordinary munsiana like an epic writer.
During the partition of the country in 1947, many Hindus had to migrate to India on the basis of religion, so many Muslims also had to migrate to Bangladesh or Pakistan from India. According to the British Red Cross, 14 million people were displaced at that time The people of that generation paid the economic and social cost of this emigration. We have read many stories and novels of that time in Bengali literature. The end of the period was expected as the country was divided on the basis of religion. Then in 1971 there was another major inflow. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in 1971, 10 million Hindus had to leave the country for fear of genocide, rape, looting, and most of them went to India. Due to various political changes, this undercurrent continued in 1976, 1987 and 1991. Even if there are no wars or religious riots nowadays, people are leaving the country for economic and technological reasons. So many people from India and Bangladesh immigrate to Canada, USA, UK every year. All the characters in the novel ‘Nivrit Purnima’ have migrated for some reason or the other and have struggled for life in another country. Rupur’s Nanajan, Nanijan, Nanijan’s ungrateful brother, Rupur’s father, Mama Rini’s uncle, uncle, PC have all moved on to a new path of life with the memories left behind. Even Rupu and Rini willingly left Bangladesh and India for Canada, where perhaps another new story will create their next generation. The novel ‘Nivrit Poornima’ can therefore be said to be a narrative of the joys and pains of a group of migrant people.
Modern lovers are very conscious. They seek assurance in the measure of their worthiness before the fulfillment of love. In that way, Rini Rupu of ‘Nivrit Purnima’ is an example of a modern lover. So, in response to Rini’s question, did Rupu want to find the person he loves and make him his own? Maybe because of my own inferiority, I have searched deep inside so that I never find it.’ In a meaningful novel, the author’s philosophy and feelings of life are mainly revealed through the story, events, characters, narration, dialogue, language etc. Modern man Refat knows that reality is much more important than the emotion of love nowadays. If there is love, the possibility of suffering also increases. So the innocent love of youth may be safe only if it is kept in the velvet corner of the heart. In the words of Rini’s younger aunt, ‘The people we love the most are the ones who hurt us the most. Beautiful dreams are broken by them.
American poet Ezra Pound in his essay ‘A Few Don’ts by an Imagist’ defines imagery as, ‘Imagination creates an immediate idea in the mind of the reader through a combination of intellect and emotion,’ i.e. a poem or story or novel. While reading, the imagery presented in the text creates a picture of the place or time in the reader’s mind, which the reader sees in the mind’s eye. Successful imagery in literature is capable of giving the reader a sense of the five senses. The use of imagery in Bengali novels is very rich. In the novel ‘Nivrit Purnima’, the reader will see a house with high panchil walls of Bhavanipur, with an iron palla gate at the front door, marble stone steps on the side, white mosaic floor with a design of Shiuli flowers. Rupur’s grandfather and grandmother left the house and moved to Bangladesh during the partition of the country in 1947.
Novelist Refat has a remarkable ability to observe and describe it accurately. In the book, the reader will see the perfect picture of the airport. In the writer’s words, ‘A small queue in front of the transfer desk, although nobody from immigration came to the desk until then… Two girls in white shirts, black skirts and hats walked past them and sat at the transfer desk.’ Where passengers stand in line before airport staff arrive.
The book ‘Nivrit Poornima’ is published by Anyaprakash and covered by Mostafiz Karigar. On the cover is a picture of kachuripana being washed away by flowing water. A glimpse of a black bank on one side of the water. A light blue sky shadow on the water. On the back cover of the book, the author himself compares human life to drinking water and says, ‘Floating, this human life comes close to long-awaited love, love touches them like trees falling on the banks of an arrow.’ The cover of the novel ‘Nivrit Purnima’ is very suitable.
Congratulations to Refaat Al Hamid for putting this wonderful novel in the hands of readers.