The Aftermath (2022)

The Aftermath

By Syed Shamsul Haq

Translated by Marzia Rahman



Post-war Bangladesh. Conflicted and chaotic. To escape the harrowing memories of war, Taher returns to Jaleswari, only to find that his once calm and pristine birthplace has turned into a troubled zone. This provincial town is run by three different factions—Mohkuma Hakim, a government official; Hafez Mokhtar, a politician with allegiance to the dominant political party; and Mazhar cum Captain, a former government officer and freedom fighter who has established his own rule of law—a tug of war between all the parties run amok.

Caught in the maelstrom of this confusion, Taher grapples to open the school, come to terms with his own wife’s death and to comprehend the local people’s obsession with death. All around him are shells of men, selfish and self-centered who share a common hatred of the Biharis. The Aftermath is a challenging story which focuses on a period underrepresented in our literary works.



Syed Shamsul Haq (1935 – 2016) was an eminent Bangladeshi writer. A versatile wordsmith working across forms – novels, poetry, short fiction, verse plays, songs, essays and translations – he was the youngest writer in Bangladesh to be honored with the Bangla Academy Award, at the age of 29. He also received the Ekushey Padak, National Poetry Award, Independence Day Award and many other literary prizes. His works are part of the school and college curricula in Bangladesh.


Translator Bio:

Marzia Rahman is a Bangladeshi fiction writer and translator. She has an MA in English from the University of Dhaka. Her flashes have appeared in several print and online journals. Her translations of short stories have been featured in The Book of Dhaka, The Demoness: The Best Bangladeshi Stories, 1971-2021, When The Mango Tree Blossomed, Six Seasons Review. In 2017, she has participated in the International Literary Translation and Creative Writing Summer School at University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK. Her novella-in-flash Life on the Edges was longlisted in the Bath Novella-in-Flash Award Competition in 2018. Her piece There are Fireflies in the Dark has secured the third place in The Antonym’s October Creative Non-fiction Contest in 2021. Rahman is currently working on a collaborative translation project on Shahaduz Zaman’s Ekjon Komlalebu and a novella-in-flash. She is also a painter.