Rev.-2 (7.1)


Teesta Review: A Journal of Poetry, Volume 7, Number 1. May 2024. ISSN: 2581-7094



by Bob DCosta, Ukiyoto Publishing, 1, 2023, ISBN- 978-935-770-6-254, Pp.: 362.

--- Soumitra Bose

Sapphopolis by Bob Dcosta is a masterpiece of the traumas a war leaves behind on people, here demonstrated by Ghungroo, the 18-year-old lady. Set in the backdrop of war, the narrative weaves together the mental state of the protagonist with the tumultuous events that lead to the birth of Bangladesh, a new nation.

In this literary tour de force immersing readers into a chaotically-calm and calmly-chaotic world, Ghungroo the protagonist, escapes East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) when President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of West Pakistan (present Pakistan) sends his forces to East Pakistan, eccentrically desiring the people to take up Urdu as their national language and shun their national language, Bengali. The Bengalis do step the foot down but at the cost of mayhem and bloodshed, while a mass exodus of refugees takes place to West Bengal.

Ghungroo 's life of trauma, same-sex love and prostitution in a new country and her life of everyday struggle has been uniquely blended and narrated with poetic wonder and lyricism. The author's unconventional and evocative prose silently draws readers into the traumatic world of Ghungroo and the lives of refugee inhabitants.

One of the novel's greatest strengths is its characters, each of them with depth, complexity, and humanity. From the enigmatic Ghungroo and Michelle, her lesbian beloved to Michelle's father whom Ghungroo addresses as 'Dad', as well as the young freedom fighters and the characters of Little Bangladesh (Little Cove), the characters of Sapphopolis leap off the page with vitality and enigma.

Sapphopolis is a deviation from the usual narrative of history and the human condition in a border country. Bob DCosta explores themes of love, self-identity, power, and memory, weaving them together in a silent but pregnant storm of interconnected lives and destinies. The novel's nonlinear narrative structure and unconventional writing elements sets the reader’s mind at ease as time and reality move, inviting the reader to question the boundaries between the surreal and natural, as well as with the ordinary and unnatural.

Overall, Sapphopolis is a timeless masterpiece that stands to captivate readers. Bob DCosta's storytelling and insights into the human experience make this novel a literary treat.

Rating: 4.5/5 



Basically a literary person by heart, Soumitra Bose, now a retired hardcore commercial professional, grew up under the tutelage of his mother who excelled in the field of art and music.

Avidly reading a major part of the works of Rabindranath Tagore since childhood, Soumitra also became an ardent lover of all songs composed by this great poet.

Soumitra spent his school days buried into the books of Enid Blyton, James Hadley Chase, Mills and Boons, Harold Robbins and Somerset Maugham.  However, the great English novelist, Thomas Hardy captured his heart and reading his books, Soumitra came into terms with the ironies of life. Last but not the least, Soumitra is a firm believer of how Fate plays a significant role in shaping lives of human beings.