It was December 1979 and my dad was sending me ‘home’, to become more cultured in the ways of Bangladeshi life. To me home was England... Being the eldest son, I had to grow up and needed this indoctrination in the ways of Bengali life and culture before I became too ‘westernised.’
A Boy, His Bibi and a Bari is the story of a 10 year old boy, sent by his parents from the UK to Bangladesh to live with his grandmother. While there he was to become cultured in Bengali life, language and living to avoid become over-westernised.
The visit lasted for one year and was a rite of passage. S.R Alam experienced life without rules or parental control. He dropped out of school, became a barefoot adventurer, traded in the bazaars, fished in the monsoon floodwaters, witnessed a bull fight and ran wild with the monkeys.
A Boy, His Bibi and a Bari is a story about the clash of cultures faced by immigrants. S.R Alam’s memoir conveys the struggle to ensure a young boy does not lose his roots and identity.