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Bishad Shindhu (Bengali: বিষাদ-সিন্ধু, English: Ocean of Sorrow) is a Bengali epic novel by Mir Mosarraf Hussain, the first modern Bengali Muslim writer and novelist. Regarded as a central work of Bengali literature, and Hussain's finest literary achievement, the novel presents a fictional account of the lives of Muhammad's grandsons, Hasan and Husayn, and the Battle of Karbala.[1]

Ocean of Sorrow
বিষাদ-সিন্ধু এজিদ্‌-বধ পর্ব.pdf
Cover image of the 3rd part of Bishad Shindhu (1890)
AuthorMir Mosarraf Hussain
Original titleবিষাদসিন্ধু
CountryBengal Presidency



In 1869, Michael Madhusudan Dutt wrote in a letter to Raj Narain that "If a great poet were to rise among the Mussulmans of India, he could write a magnificent Epic on the death of Hossen and his brother. He could enlist the feelings of the whole race on his behalf.”[2] Within three decades, Mosharraf Hussain came up with Bishad Shindhu though not in verse but in prose. The novel was originally published in three parts in 1885, 1887 and 1891 respectively.[3][4] The novel was later published in its entirety.[1]

Literary styleEdit

Mosharraf Hossain did not restrict the narrative to historical facts, and took novelistic liberties, adding the psychological drama around Zaynab for instance, which contributes to the characterization of the vindictive Yazid, or the supernatural manifestations after the battle at Karbala.[2] He created an engaging blend of Bankim-derived high literary Bangla and the popular emotional appeal of the punthi literature of his time, which included many retellings of the Karbala tragedy.[2]

Main charactersEdit


  1. ^ a b "Bisad-Sindhu - Banglapedia". Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  2. ^ a b c "A modern epic for Bengal". Dhaka Tribune. 2018-03-12. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  3. ^ Dalmia, Vasudha; Sadana, Rashmi (2012), The Cambridge Companion to Modern Indian Culture, Cambridge University Press, p. 108, ISBN 1139825461
  4. ^ Osmany, Shireen Hasan (1992), Bangladeshi nationalism: history of dialectics and dimensions, University Press, p. 61, ISBN 9840511882

External linksEdit