Kanai Dutt: Indian, 42 years old; translator; knows 6 languages; at around 10 was sent to Lusibari to be “rusticated” when speaking back to the teacher; unmarried; lives in New Deli; runs a bureau of translators; Piyali Roy: Indian by descent; does not speak Bengali; from Seattle but born in Kolkata, left when 1 year old; cetologist; has an uncle in Kolkata (big man in government); late 20s; her mother suffered from cervical cancer; Nilima Bose: Mashima - “aunt”; 76 years old; Kanai’s aunt, mother’s sister; founded the hospital in Lusibari, heads the organization Badabon Trust; childless; Nirmal Bose: Saar – “Sir”; headmaster of a school in Lusibari; Kanai’s uncle, Nilima’s husband; dead; died in 1979 in July, the year he wrote the notebook; in youth was in love with the idea of a revolution, started despising what Nilima did. Nirmal stopped writing in Lusibari. Horen Naskor: fisherman; gives a boat ride to Nilima, Nirmal and Kanai when he comes to Lusibari the first time; has 3 children; marries at the age of 14; Kusum: girl form Horen’s village, 15 years old was put in care of Women’s Union in Lusibari; runs off and on return is killed; has a tooth chipped, short hair when Kanai first meets her (suffered from typhoid); doesn’t know English; from island of Sajtela; father died foraging for firewood; the man that “employed” her mother in Calcutta wanted to sell Kusum but Horen interfered; Mej-da: owner of the launch Piya hires; does not speak English; Guard: assigned to Piya for her survey; does not speak English; Moyna Mandol: works for Nilima; married Kusum’s son, Fokir; is a trainee in the union for many years, started out as a barefoot nurse. She wanted to study but her family decided to wed her off to Fokir, who could neither read nor write. She doesn’t’ speak English. She wants Tutul to have an education, Fokir is against it. Fokir (Fokirchand) Mandol: Kusum’s son; Moyna’s husband; is brought up by Horen; he doesn’t lie it in Lusibari; Tutul Mandol: Moyna’s and Fokir’s son; child of about 5; Dilip: man who wanted to sell Kusum;
Morichjhapi incident: 1978 the refugees from Bangladesh came to the island of Morichjhapi, a reserve for tiger conservation. They had come to India after Partition. Are exploited both by Hindus and by Muslims (Dalits now, Harijans before). Government moved the refugees to Dandakaranya, far from Bengal – “resettlement”, in reality was a prison, everyone was forbidden to leave. They did not speak the local language, locals treat them as intruders. In 1978 they broke out out and came to Morichjhapi. In West Bengal a Left Front ministry took power and the refugees hoped that there would be no opposition from the government. In mid-May of 1979 there was the final confrontation. Chapter 1: The Tide Country
November. Dhakuria a locality in the city of Kolkata /kɒlˈkætə/ (previously, ‘Calcutta': The presiding deity is Kali. In earlier days, the areas around the temple was known as "Kali Ghat, which was corrupted by the British as they had difficulty in pronouncing. In the meantime Calcutta grow into a big metropolis and its original name, Kali Ghat was restored, but in English it came to be called as "Kolkatta"). Take the train to Canning, to Sundarbans – the beautiful forest, named in reference to a tree or to a tide bhati. Kanai notices Piya on the platform. Chapter 2: An Invitation
Piya pours tea on Kanai’s pages. She noticed him already on the platform. Piya goes to do a survey of the marine mammals in Sundarbans. Kanai goes to visit his aunt in Lusibari (“Lucy’s House” from English) to see the papers that uncle had left for him. Kanai invites Piya to come to Lusibari. Chapter 3: Canning
Kanai thinks of Piya as a one-night-stand. Remembers how aunt called him and asked to come. Nilima meets Kanai at the station. Matla – river, shallow. (Marichjhapi massacre refers to the forcible eviction of Bengali Hindu refugees and their subsequent death by starvation, exhaustion and...
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