This month's podcast is the Bengali translation of The Mexican by Jack London (January 12, 1876 — November 22, 1916). First published in 1911, the hero of the story, Felipe Rivera, was inspired by a real-life boxer, Joe Rivers, the pseudonym of a Mexican revolutionary. His boxing winnings supported the Junta Revolucionaria Mexicana, a group of revolutionaries-in-exile stationed at El Paso, Texas. Rivers worked as an ice deliveryman to earn his living at his later life.
This is the story of the rustic people of a unnamed village near the capital who have never visited Delhi or Agra or any other city. The whole world is a collection of villages to them. The only ideas they have of the outside world are the bits of stories told by Ostadji, a vagabond fakir. So when this fakir proposes to take them to Tajmahal for a cup of tea, the villagers flock around him like the children following the pied piper of Hamlin. Listen to the story to know how the fakir entertains his followers at Tajnahal. This is our homage to Sunil Gangopadhyay (September 7, 1934 - October 23, 2012) on his first death anniversary.
Man makes dolls, man makes idols. He plays with them, he admires and worships them. Aparna ignores the love of her husband and admirer. She worships the idol of Madanmohan. The lifeless deity demands all her love and devotion. She realises it when she has lost all. This is the theme of our this month's story, "Mandir" by Sharat Chandra.
Today is the International Literacy Day. This date (September , is observed all over the world through various programmes as the Literacy Day since 1966 after a declaration was made to this effect by UNESCO. We found in our audio archive a story "Jagakhichuri" by Gopal Sarkar which seems especially significant on this day. We learn here how the illiterate people of a village learned to write, particularly to write posters to protest against the humiliation of a village girl. Nobody will miss the pun, fun and wit of the story.
Today we are celebrating the 67th Independence Day of India. We can hardly imagine how much the martyrs had to endure for this independence, to put an end to two hundred years of British rule. Our selection for today's podcast is a story by Balai Chanb Mukhopadhyay, better known as Banaphool ( July 19, 1899 - February 9, 1979) from which we can have an idea of the indomitable spirit of movement for independence.
Our tribute to Rabindranath Tagore (May 7, 1861 - August 7, 1941) is in the form of a children's story Icchapuran. We are sure everyone will enjoy this story. At some time or other all of us wish the same like Sushil and his father. We want to change position with others, hoping for a better life. The story shows what happens if our wish is granted.
Exactly a year from today we lost one of our most favourite writers, Humayun Ahmed (November 13, 1948 - July 19, 2012). We podcast his short story Achin Briksha shortly after his death. We pay our tribute to him on his first anniversary by presenting another short story, Pishach. Here the author tells us of an eccentric person who, with his heart full of love, is practicing necromancy to win his beloved.
Listen to the first part first.
This is our tribute to Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (June 26, 1838 - April 8, 1894). on the occasion of his 175th birth anniversary. At the beginning the selected story seems a pure piece of humour. Ultimately it turns out to be a satirical fiction. You would enjoy it. Please also listen to the author's Subarnagolak posted on this day last year.
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