Padma Nadir Majhi (Boatman of the River Padma)

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Hossain is a Bengali Muslim with an idealistic vision: he wants to establish a little utopia on an island in the Padma delta. He doesn't care if the people who populate it are Hindu or Muslim. It is 1947, just before the partition of India, and the Hindu fisherman Kuber briefly accepts an offer by Hossain to ferry some of the community's cargo from the island. He would be fishing, except that all the fish he usually catches have been driven away by a big storm. In the process of getting the cargo, he gets to see what the colony is like and, even though he is fully aware of the gripes of a former colony member and the limitations of it, comes to share some of the utopian vision. When he returns to his home and a variety of unfortunate events make it in his best interest to leave, he knows just where to go. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

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