Author: Mahmudul Haque
Publisher: সাহিত্য প্রকাশ
Release Date: November 01, 2007
Abdul Khaleq teaches in a crumbling old college in a village in newly independent Bangladesh. His life is mostly on an even keel until he sits down to chronicle his childhood - an endeavour that draws him inexorably into his memories and into an enchanting world somewhere in suburban Calcutta. He remembers the girl who spoke to fish and birds, the girl he first loved. He recalls the stream of visitors to his parents' door those days, some bearing want, some malice and others, generosity and wisdom. As those memories return him to a time when communal tension was gathering force in undivided Bengal and the trauma it brought to his younger self, Khaleq's remembrance stops being a pleasant retreat. He becomes desperately despondent.
Khaleq's relentless nostalgia enrages his wife Rekha, who resents his lack of ambition and aloofness. Prodded by the village physician, Doctor Narhari, the couple embark on a boat ride that forces them to confront their discord and desires, and plumb the roots of Abdul Khaleq's alienation.
First published in 1977 in Bengali, Black Ice draws on Mahmudul Haque's own experience of Partition to intimately probe the invisible scars bequeathed to the inheritors of Partition.