‘Fragments of Riversong’ showcases a dozen masterfully-crafted tales that bring alive the beauty, chaos and contradictions of contemporary Bangladesh. Here are scenes from lives less often examined.
A visa applicant at the US Embassy struggles with her conscience. Strange things happen when a street child finds his life intersecting with those of a wealthy housewife and a teenage schoolgirl. A guava tree becomes a source of conflict between an unorthodox grandmother and her stubborn grandchild. A successful architect suddenly finds herself the reluctant guardian of two children. A young man returns to his village in order to come to terms with bereavement. A Bangladeshi-American schoolgirl learns a hard lesson. A confident urbanite grapples with the challenges of a rural environment during a field trip. A dream holiday takes a disastrous turn for two friends. Revenge manifests in an unusually creative form within an unhappy marriage. A young child realises she must depend on herself to survive. The search for love remains oddly familiar in a dystopian future.
Like fragments from an emerging mosaic, these stories fit together to illustrate the transformation of a once-rural, riverine land into its more recent incarnation, telling the stories of the country through the voices of its people.