In honour of Shakti Bhatt, the renowned editor of an Indian publishing house Bracket Books, the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize continues to acknowledge literature from all over the South Asian continent.
Dr Numair Atif Choudhury is on the shortlist for Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2019 for his literature piece Babu Bangladesh! The writer passed away in an accident a few months prior to his book’s publication.
In an article written by Talita Choudhury, Numair’s sister, she remembers the memories and emotional battles the writer had to tackle all the while, to create a story which would hit home.
While self -reflecting in a conversation with her he mentions,
“I am open to criticism and have changed all the parts that were not pleasurable to read. I respect my audience. Moreover, the book that is to be published must be of mettle that justifies the claim it has made of a decade of my life.”
Another year later, only a little further along with his narrative, Numair emailed a section from the chapter ‘Bird‘ stating to Talita saying, “Here’s something I edited today, took me forever to get the right voice.”
Babu Bangladesh! A national superhero
Numair Atif’s Babu Bangladesh! is a biography creating a national superhero who has lived through both his country’s traumatic, bloody past and his chaotic fast-approaching future. According to the writer, his piece falls under both fictional biography and magical realism. He mentions that the five chapters contain various elements that relate to one another.
With the chaotic political situations and subtle hints of harsh realities, the writer showed the struggles the protagonist faced head-on. Numair Atif did not shy away from creating a beautiful piece by merging and making a perfect balance of imagination and reality.
The unfortunate turn of events only makes us realize the loss of our thriving culture has faced. However, like every creative artist, Dr Numair Atif has left his work for his readers to read and embark on the journey of truth.