A Line Shadow, Hamid Rayhan’s first fiction, unconventional in form and style with multidimensional settings and characters’ sparks, although it’s written this year 2020, sets in the mid-1971s in the village of Sreemongal, Moulvibazar.
It’s narrated by Sophia, a lass who lives together with her mother, young sister, Mafia and grandmother.
During the novel, Sophia, her mother, and her surroundings attempt to make her life enter an excellent complexity.
Her boyfriend, Navel, who was a converted Muslim, has been seen in a significant role since her ex-boyfriend, Anil, a Hindu, who she married, left her.
Many residents of Sreemongal are racists and through the novel, Sophia is asked to defend her surroundings’ characters, a man, Bilash Dutta, with his conscience accused of raping her keeping biological relations with her mother.
Sophia takes on the case albeit everyone knows she has little hope of winning.
The reader sees the trial develop through the humanlike eyes of Sophia, as gradually both she and her surroundings’ characters learn some valuable life lessons from her mother and feminine characters, humans round her about tolerance, doubt, distrust, bluffing, empathy and understanding of the contemporary world with the jerk and cult of past, present and future.
A Line Shadow movingly depicts the growing up and self-realization of Sophia, who overcomes oppression and abuse to find fulfillment and independence.
The novel also addresses gender equality, resistance and existence.
Rayhan’s best-known work, A Line Shadow hopes that it receives widespread critical acclaim, though it is not without critics, many of whom may object to its explicit language and sexual content with multi-characters around society in South Asia.
A Line Shadow
A Line Shadow documents the successive and gradual triumph of Sophia, a Bangladeshi girl raises in rural isolation in Sreemongal, as she comes to resist the paralyzing self-concept forced on her by others.
Sophia narrates her life through painfully honest letters to God.
These are prompted when her abusive uncle, Bilash, warns her not to tell anybody but God after he rapes her and she becomes pregnant for a first time at the age of 16.
After she gives birth, Bilash tries to spoil her first baby, leaving Sophia to believe that to kill a baby is a sin, it’s good for not only her, but also for him & society.
When her uncle, Bilash, proposes marriage to Sophia, he pushes her to take Sophia instead, forcing her into an abusive marriage.
Soon thereafter she refuses Bilash to marry and briefly stands on Sophia. However, her mother’s continues interest in Bilash results in her secret relations.
Sophia subsequently begins to build relations with other oppressed women, especially those engaging forcefully with oppression. Of note is the defiant Sophia, who makes relations marries Bilash’s only son Navel after becoming pregnant.
Unable to control her, Navel seeks advice, and Sophia suggests that he beat Sophia. However, when Navel strikes her, Sophia fights back.
Upon learning that Sophia encourages Navel’s abuse, she confronts a guilty Sophia, who admits to being jealous of Sophia’s refusal to back down, and the two women become friends.
More significant, however, is Sophia’s relationship with Navel, a glamorous and independent poet and singer who is also the dominant representative of man.
Sophia tends to an ailing Navel, and the two women grow close, eventually becoming lovers.
A Line Shadow
During this time Sophia discovers that Bilash has been hiding himself from Sophia and avoids her when and in which he sees Sophia and his son, Navel’s in body.
Sophia begins reading them and learns that Nirvan, Navel’ best friend, has befriended a govt. man of high rank,
Zakaria and his wife, Kamala, and that the couple’s adopted child, Ema, is actually Sophia’s.
Nirvan joins the family on a UN mission in Africa, where Kamala later dies. The letters also reveal that Bilash is actually Sophia’s stepfather and that her biological father was luman . Questioning her faith, Sophia begins addressing her letters to Kamala.
However, Navel later encourages Sophia to change her beliefs about God. An emboldened Sophia then decides to leave her mother and Bilash and go to her sister with Navel in Dhaka. Once there, Sophia comes into her own, and creates a successful career in social work.
Her happiness, however, is tempered somewhat by Navel’s affairs, though Sophia continues to love him.
Following Bilash’s death, Sophia inherits his house, where she’s eventually supposed to settle, but she refuses to take anything of Bilash’s.
During this time, she develops a friendship with Zakaria, who is apologetic about his earlier treatment of her. After some 14 years apart, Sophia is then reunited with Nirvan, who makes a breeze with Zakaria.
Sophia also meets her child who was deprived from her mother-affection for long, and was proposed to marry Zakaria with the abundant prospects of a new life.
Did Sofia really respond to the call in the form of coming future? Then, how? The questions meet the answers in this narrative in an unconventional form.
Biography of Hamid Rayhan
Hamid Rayhan appears to be considered the most powerful spark prospect in fiction in the present epoch of the world.
Born in Bangladesh, Rayhan spent his early years in different locations of his country with peoples of different levels, an experience described in his fiction, A Line Shadow.
Many themes in Rayhan’s writing weave themselves through his work, although history, culture & colonization always play an integral role in establishing the framework of his fiction, which revalues history and his time by shifting the point of view, by demystifying, by seeing what is always there to be seen, what we would have seen if the conjurers of power have not been trying so hard to distract our attention.
Strong human lead provides the author with the backdrop to develop motifs exploring the complexities of identity, culture, and politics, coming of age, single women’s life, love, social protest, Bangladesh, religion, resistance, gender, hybridity, and South Asia.
Rayhan has a socio-literary prose book Thus Speaks Powerism on amazon.com.