1971 was a happening year in my life. My dad passed away from a massive heart attack that ended his life in fifteen minutes. A few months later that winter I fell sick with typhoid and the Bangladesh war of liberation broke out. I hazily remember the sound of the siren every evening signaling the beginning of a blackout. Darkness was an endeavor to not let enemy planes spot our homes.
During this period millions of refugees from Bangladesh, then East Pakistan, poured into India. They lived in terrible unhealthy conditions in various refugee camps that were always short in supplies. Some infringed and lived in the suburbs in temporary sheds and ventured into the nearby townships begging food.
We were ordinary middle class yet mom and some neighbors cooked a bit extra every day to feed those hungry mouths that came requesting for food at our door. Calcutta in Shorts is a collection of short stories inspired by my life during these times.