Crossing the Line

People

Crossing the Line

Illustration: Namaah

B

efore she got married and moved to India, Madhuri Dutta lived with her rambunctious extended family in a hundred-year-old “Bangla Batton”-style house in the centre of Sylhet. In the June of 1947, she started her married life in quiet Shillong with a quieter man. Soon after, her beloved corner of East Bengal became East Pakistan and Madhuri Dutta became a guest in her own land.

Her annual trips to Sylhet became the highlight of the year, even if she now needed a passport to visit. She got herself one and registered her three tiny daughters for travel on the same document. Her husband never accompanied them.

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