Displayed below are examples of pages from four different Siloṭi Nagri puthis. Click on the images to view photographs of the original pages in higher resolution and for more information on the puthis, including transcriptions in Siloṭi Nagri, Bengali and Roman scripts and an English translation.
The samples above show pages from two manuscript and two printed puthis. As seen in the first and third examples, the initial page of a puthi is often beautifully decorated with an Islamic design and some Arabic calligraphy, followed by an opening section consisting of a 'bondona', or poem in praise to God.
The rest of the puthi is also in verse, and is designed to be sung or chanted. The content can be a story, such ‘Jongo Nama’ which tells the history of the war of Karbala and ‘Mohobbot Nama’ which tells the story of Joseph and Zulaikha. Or it can be the teachings of a Sufi master or pir to his disciples, in the form of songs in the ‘baula’ style each followed by an explanation in simple poyar metre. (For more information on puthi performance, including examples click here.)
Many manuscript puthis, as in the examples shown above, have no gaps between the words, which can make reading difficult for the modern reader.