Banaphool--which means wildflower--was the pen name of beloved Bengali writer Balaichand Mukhopadhyay (1899-1979). Wildfire brings together forty-five short pieces by Banaphool that are brilliantly representative of his uncompromising, multifaceted talent. Stark and short, often much too short, some even cryptic, these stories often leave much of the narrative to our imagination. Here we find an irresistible grab bag: utterly whimsical tales, several ghost stories, a few morality fables, some bitterly critical political satires, and a number of stories that examine the plight of those neglected in or rejected by society.
The wildflower, Rabindranath Tagore had told the author, has no place in the porcelain vase, nor in the temple--it blossoms by the roadside, unnoticed, except by the creative vision. Identifying with it, Banaphool brings to our notice the worth of the marginal as well as the beauty of the mundane. The perfect introduction to a master writer, Wildfire will enchant and impress English-language readers new to Banaphool's work.