My First Freedom Fighter

Published in 5X5, Summer 2012.


In May 1971, like countless refugees of the Liberation War of Bangladesh, my family fled when news of the approaching Pakistani Army reached them. Their refuge was Nolam, a village several miles north of the newly constructed university where my father taught and my mother studied literature. They took with them my mother’s jewelry, food, and my brother, three years older than me.  He was barely a month old at the time, and for the first two days of his life, my mother had nursed him in a hospital bed in Dhaka as Operation Searchlight commenced, tanks rumbling, explosions echoing in the streets.