Alone In The Breach— A Story Of A Nation Told Through One Life
Seldom, autobiography of an individual, who is not a truly public persona with a large following, transcends its narrow horizon of interest, and enters the world arena. Alone In The Breach by Muhammad Shamsul Haque Chishti
is one such book that does.
Granted, Chishti is not really an obscure face in Bangladesh. He rose through the ranks of Bangladesh Civil Service, and was widely known for his dedication and utter honesty at high official level. For a country that had acquired the dubious distinction as the most corrupt nation for five years in a row, it is only natural that its civil service department would have a fair share of corruption. Yet, having spent a lifetime in the service of people, Chishti is among a handful of officers whose name is not in the mud.
The original book is written in Bangla. It was translated by his son Muhammad Rezaul Kaiser Chishty, and published in Bangladesh. The book has world-wide distribution—its US distributor is Muktadhara, in Jackson Heights, NYC.
Chishty wrote about his life, the people in his life, the time of his life, and the writ became a valuable document of life in Bangladesh for a period spanning several generations—it captured the living history of a nation in the move.
Bangladesh is crisscrossed by innumerable rivers, and those rivers are mighty. With incessant monsoon rains they swell up and flood their banks with vengeance, snatch lands and everything on it. Millions of people lose their lifetime possessions and become destitute overnight. The people nevertheless, are even more determined than the mighty rivers, more resolute, from the brink of death they snatch the joy of life—that is the story of Bangladeshi villagers who live on the river banks. Losing everything, they literally pull themselves up with their shoestrings, just as Chishti himself did, and rose to the highest possible level at government cadre services.Continued on the next page