Assamese lyricist-music composer Nilakshi Sarma Bhattacharya wanted her first short story collection to be a mirror of the problems the society is facing and she aptly named it "Pratichchabi" or reflection.
And the issues she deals with range from English- vernacular medium teaching, unplanned construction in cities to female foeticide, caste system and loneliness of aged parents.
"The plots of most of the stories are picked up from our day-to-day life. These small events in our life sometimes leave a lasting impact. At the same time, there are some very important reflections of our society too," Bhattacharya told PTI here.
The first story 'O Mor Suriya Maat' (O My Sonorous Voice) is on the age-old English vs vernacular medium school debate.
Through the protagonist Jahnabi, the writer tries to essay the conflict inside a woman, who loves her mother tongue but could not send her child to an Assamese medium school due to pressure from the husband.
'Conkritor Sohorot' (In the city of concrete) has a very emotional narrative about children's respect and love for their parents, who are no more, and at the same time deals with the issue of unplanned construction in cities.
Female foeticide is the subject Bhattacharya deals with in her story 'Kanya Santaan' (Girl Child) through a family of a migrant worker from Bihar, who is now settled in Assam.
On caste system, the writer pens the story 'Aashirvaad' (Blessing), which is about a retired Brahmin doctor's son falling in love and getting married with a tribal Christian girl.
'Jibonor Biyoli Belaat' (Life's Twilight Hours) is about loneliness of aged parents, whose children are settled outside, and compulsion to spend the last few days of their lives at old age homes.
Another very touchy story is 'Maram' (Love) about the bonding of a primary school teacher with her kid students.
The book is published by Neelachal Prakashan.
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