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The idea for this translation came from the need to read and understand my dad's books. Recognised in the Indian and, especially, the Bengali literary world, and the recipient of many literary awards, Dr Arabinda Poddar was greatly appreciated and supported by his family. Yet, unfortunately, none of his family members had actually read his Bengali books. The reasons were varied—the language was too difficult or some family members did not know how to read or write the Bengali language, being born and brought up outside the state of West Bengal. I started reading my Dad's books and was amazed by the wealth of knowledge in each. I felt sad that such knowledge was sitting on the shelves, gathering dust, and not being gleaned by anyone in the family. In addition, it also occurred to me that these Bengali books were worth a wider audience than just the Bengali literary or intellectual circles. Therefore, I started this venture to translate his work. This is the first translation. If nothing else, the immediate and extended family of Dr Arabinda Poddar could start reading his work. I have tried to keep this work as simple and as close to the original work as possible. Fortunately, my father, the author, very kindly agreed to review the translation as well, and provided his precious input. This was critical to ensure that this work did not deviate much from the original. A special note of thanks to my son, Antriksh Singh, for checking the manuscript for its readability. Sujata Singh

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