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Lalsalu


Lalsalu (1948) a novel by Syed Waliullah. The story narrates how the fraudulent Majid preys upon the religious feelings of his fellow villagers by exploiting a mazar or tomb covered by a piece of lalsalu, the red cotton fabric associated with ascetics and holy men. The novel is set in the village of Mahabbatnagar and depicts the life of a rural Muslim community.

Syed Waliullah has also skillfully drawn a portrait of Majid's young second wife Jamila. The novel was quite popular and was translated into Urdu and French, by Annemarie, the author's wife. In 1967 the novel was translated into English as Tree Without Roots. It was subsequently translated into Czech and German. The author was conferred the Bengali Academy Award for this novel. The novel was made into a movie in 2001. [Nurul Amin]