The book is fiction dealing with common social milieus and priorities prevalent in Bangladesh for protecting and carrying on family traditions and values. This has been ubiquitous in Bangladesh for quite some time, more so in rural areas, notwithstanding an evident declining trend. In most negotiated marriage relationships, the emphasis manifestly still is on family aristocracy, traditions, and good names.
In the social milieu of British India, heightened by the decline in Muslim inhabitants’ power and authority with the evident waning of wealth and standing, preservation of family prestige and locus gained earlier took prominence. Such families may inwardly suffer from all negativities, but outwardly, they are to put up an aristocratic bearing.
House of Twenty-Two Buffalos is such a story. It deals with the sustained effort of a recent affluent family trying to climb the ladder of aristocracy while a prominent aristocratic house was burdened by tradition-laden specifics. The former was basking in current financial affluence but had the frustration of having mundane background generations before. The latter was trapped to false pronouncements of earlier generations and carry over pride to the present, ignoring bliss, passion, and feelings. Both the families however suffered from a common proclivity to resist changes in social and family lives even though both the families eventually submitted to those. The palpable loss was the years passed by and the deprivation of time and tenderness during the intervening period.
The story deals with varied characters in relevant sociopolitical context of the time. However, all of them remain relevant in the broader context of present social setting.
The character of Qulsum, born in a most vexing situation and growing up in rumored settings, portrays the best outcome of discreet desire in tandem with supportive and warm care of a husband and an avowed mind-set of a younger brother-in-law. Their progressions reside and epitomize the struggle of the new gene to break through that burden with decency. Pori’s personality and character reflect that knowledge and wisdom are not just limited to books and affluence. The traits of Kalon Master and Rushni expose true and committed characters whose commitment, contribution, and sacrifice largely influenced the outcome of the Bangladesh War of Liberation and the sustenance of those ideals. Similarly, Sher Didar Khan brings out the innocent inner feelings hidden within a big physique contrary to ruthless reflection of the authority of his official position.