Monica Ali is the Bangladeshi/UK author of “Dinner with Dr. Azad.” Another story I very much enjoyed. In one of those cases where “enjoyed” doesn’t seem quite the appropriate word, because the feelings it brought to bear weren’t particularly joyous ones. Instead the story made real the powerful feeling of loneliness felt by Nanzeen, a Bangladeshi woman living in London. A woman who speaks no English and who knows no one but the husband she was married off to.
“Chokra” by Numair Choudhury, a Bangladeshi/US author, introduced me to a practice I’d never heard of before, and frankly one I wish I still had no knowledge of. The fact that such horrors are not a part of my knowledge is just testament to my Western/class/white/take-your-pick privilege. This story shocked and horrified me, but I suspect that was at least part of the intent. It’s been a few days since I read it, and I still find myself feeling very unsettled.
Both of these stories also came from the anthology Story-Wallah: Short Fiction from South Asian Writers.