A Golden Age: A Novel
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Rehana Haque, a young widow, blissfully prepares for the party she will host for her son and daughter. But this is 1971 in East Pakistan, and change is in the air.
Set against the backdrop of the Bangladesh War of Independence, A Golden Age is a story of passion and revolution; of hope, faith, and unexpected heroism in the midst of chaos—and of one woman's heartbreaking struggle to keep her family safe.
faces were darker and their legs were longer and her heart had stopped at the sight of them, and even now, a decade later, she was sometimes frozen in that moment of disbelief, at the possibility that she might discover them, repossess them, bring them home and become their mother again. And that was how it had happened. Rehana finished telling herself the story and waited for the tears to dry up on her cheeks. By some miracle they were in the lead. When Azmat Rana scored his first
Sengupta said, holding out her hand. ‘Oh,’ Sohail said, ‘all right.’ And he sat down. Now the crowd was cheering and blocking Rehana’s view with its waving arms. She wanted to get a good look at Azmat while he was still at the crease, so she climbed up on to the bench and peered over the long rows of dark heads in front of her, her hand raised to her eyes. Giddiness was everywhere. Rehana felt a laugh start at her feet and climb up her legs. She began to giggle with her mouth open. She tilted
stopped, and the players, peeling off their gloves and their caps, scattered to the edge of the field. No one saw the sun breaking through the clouds and shining on Azmat Rana, who gazed in the direction of the Ramna Racecourse, where they had all gathered a few weeks before to celebrate Sheikh Mujib’s victory. And they did not hear the announcer trying to calm them down and remind them to Please Remain Seated. As they moved towards the exits, they were jostled and pushed against one another.
wheel. She held out the door for Rehana with a flourish. ‘Don’t worry so much!’ she said. Suddenly a thin, lungi-clad boy bolted past. Mrs Sengupta’s sari slid from her shoulder, exposing her blouse and her bare stomach, and, as she bent to rearrange herself, she slipped and tumbled forward, her head knocking against the wheel before she could stretch out her arms to break the fall. Rehana rushed to her side and struggled to lift her up. ‘Are you hurt?’ She pulled Mrs Sengupta into the driver’s
Horlicks jar and arranging the nimki on a plate. She pursed her lips together and appeared not to hear the question. ‘Silvi, do you know what happened?’ Maya repeated, a little louder. Without a word, Silvi passed the plate of nimki to her mother. ‘Did you even bother to ask?’ Maya said. ‘These are unspeakable things,’ Mrs Chowdhury began. ‘Things which need to be known.’ Maya slammed her cup down with a porcelain clatter. ‘Silvi, your husband was a hero.’ ‘That was his business,’ Silvi said