WULUL Antor’s novel Suryasarothi is published in the Ekushey Book Fair 2020 from Gronthik Prokashon. The word ‘suryasarothi’ means the charioteer of the chariot of the Sun god. But writer of this novel, Wulul Antor means something more. But from the general meaning of the word, it can be said that this novel is as brave and bright as the Sun god and the author is the charioteer.
This is the debut novel of Wulul. As the first novel, the content is more than brave. Nowadays, we see fiction writers avoid to write novels on present political situations. But Wulul Antor chose to bring forward the political issues. Being a new writer, it is a huge challenge for him.
The story starts with the character Amit Hasan Dip who is a student of the University of Dhaka and also the protagonist of the novel. The protagonist is also a poet. One night, Dip along with his friend visited a shrine. There they met a strange girl named Ria. Ria is a feminist and an online activist. They become good friends and the story goes on.
Dip had been tortured in the guest room by the political cadres and when he raised his voice against it, he had to leave the residential hall. Then he becomes a political activist. He falls in love with a Hindu girl named Anisha Roy. Gradually many people with distinguishable characters enter the story.
The stories of the novel pass so quickly. Wulul Antor does not try to create a long background for the stories. He just tells the incidents and the consequences of those. But every characters of the novel have unique traits and have reflections of the writer’s own experiences. The stories are so different and well-paced that the reader will never be bored.
Most of the stories of the novel are inspired from real incidents. The stories showed us how university students fight against adverse situations.
In this book, Wulul Antor shows the modern form of slavery. The stories show the pictures of most of the public universities in Bangladesh, especially the reality of the University of Dhaka. When a student gets a chance to study in this university, s/he feels so proud. But when the political cadres of ruling party torture her/him in the guest rooms of the resident halls, the student becomes frustrated and starts to hate the university.
Wulul Antor showed us the real picture of the guest room culture. Here, a first year student becomes a slave of the seniors. As time flows, new students become senior and they make more slaves. By the time, humanity is extinct from their mind.
The writer, Wulul, is a running student of DU. He wrote what he saw with his own eyes. He also wrote about the recent Dhaka University Central Students’ Union elections and how the polls were manipulated.
Here, readers will found Wulul’s point of view and experiences about leftist student organisations. Some of the leftist organisations only talk about revolution and changes but in the real field, they do not strongly stand against the ruling party.
But Suryasarothi is not only about politics. The writer has raised some questions and tried to find out the answers. What is the existing environment of the public universities? How students are surviving here? Why do they loss their concentration on study? Why do they struggle in the ocean of drugs? What is the condition of our art-culture? Questions like these and many more are addressed in the novel.
The novel also includes the thoughts and the beliefs of our young generation, their love and betrayal.
At the end, I only want to say one thing that Wulul Antor dedicated his first novel to Abu Bakar, Hafizur Molla, Biswajit Das and Abrar Fahad who were killed by the student cadres of the ruling party. This dedication tells us many things about the horizon of the author’s mind.
Sakib Abdullah is a journalist.
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