Skip to main content

Book Review - Museum of Memories: A soulful journey of many lives, through many eras and across many worlds

Amrita Mukherjee’s book ‘Museum of Memories’ (http://www.amazon.in/dp/9385854194/) is a collection of 13 short stories which, as the blurb suggests, are tales inspired by reality.

Reading through the stories, you find yourself looking into a kaleidoscope of emotions and Amrita, with her lucid language and superior storytelling skills, draws you into a world inhabited by characters you have grown up with, characters you run into everyday, and the person you look at every time you stand in front of the mirror.

In terms of structure, these are short stories that speak volumes and mostly end unpredictably. One can breeze through the book from cover to cover. However, they leave you with images, questions and thoughts to reflect upon long after the last page has been turned.

How do we embrace those close to us before they turn into memories? How does a woman who sells her womb for a price then grapple not just with the empty womb but an empty heart? What does destiny have in store for a sex worker when her estranged son returns to take her home? How does a girl cope with the murky realities of the corporate world, growing up in a North Kolkata household with its archaic values? How does the ‘edited reality’ of lives on social media affect us? How does a learned man challenge social stereotypes by taking up chores of the household? How does a son undo the despicable wrong of a father in the face of the same abject poverty they both face? How does love emerge triumphant in a world torn apart by atrocities provoked by religious sentiments?

Extremely relevant in the context of the contemporary, yet so beautifully seeped in our traditions and in settings of days by-gone, seasoned with the scars, wounds, tears and smiles that we hold so close to our hearts.


You take away one learning from Amritas’ book – live your life before your dreams turn into regrets, before the present turns into memories.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cricket, Romance and Thrills make the right cocktail this summer!

Cricket is the only game I played in school. Over several years, this is the game that instilled in me discipline and perseverance. It taught me what it means to play with and for your team. It taught me what it means to compete fairly. Lessons that were to benefit me immensely in later years in my corporate life.
Cricket is also the only game that kept me glued to the television screen for hours. Growing up through the eighties and nineties, I watched my heroes on the field snatch unexpected victory from the jaws of imminent defeat, or, lose gracefully in the true spirit of the game, only to rise from the ashes in the next match. And my scrapbooks with their pictures kept piling up.
My interest was not limited only to their antics on the field. I wanted to know them as human beings and not just as larger-than-life heroes. This curiosity drew me to sports magazines and memoirs of cricketers, which, needless to say, I devoured with relish. I would also spend hours watching their intervie…

Book Review - The Fault in Our Stars

'The Fault in Our Stars' is the first John Green book I read. And I am now going to read ALL his books. This book was a revelation. Because, when I picked up the book, I had braced myself for yet another global phenomenon, immensely popular romance now-made-into-a-Hollywood-blockbuster (soon to be re-made in India, I hear), but essentially 'Sympathy Lit' (which I am told is now almost a guaranteed recipe for success in that genre). And I was SO WRONG! Yes, there are diseases, there is misery, there are moments when I choked up, but Green takes this completely irreverent tone,his characters crack genuinely funny jokes about themselves and their physical challenges, and in general, they have fun! More than a love story with, well an inevitable tragic ending, this is a story of hope, and this is about how life should be lived to the fullest. As I read through the funny vivacious escapades of the couple, one with cancer affecting her lungs, and the other having lost a leg…

Book Review - Poems by Subhadip Mukherjee

Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Reading the poetry of Subhadip Mukherjee in his book ‘ছেঁড়াচিন্তারScribbles’ (Offtrack Publishers, co-authored by Dr. Kausik Ghosh), I am convinced that he is bleeding. And that’s good news.
Subhadip is a nagorik kobiyal. His poems hold mirror to the stifling urban life with its rat race, with its mindless pursuit of  materialistic ambitions, and with its consumerism.
নাগরিকব্যস্ততানানাজটিলতা... দাশুবারবারকিস্তিমাত
He mocks the same judgemental urban society right in his introduction when he says:
যদিতাকেচিনেথাকো যদিতাকেজেনেথাকো Boss, বেশী .মিশোনাতারসাথে সামান্যনেশাহবে... তুমিও "খারাপ" হবে দেরিহবেরোজরাত্তিরে
Subhadip’s poems paint love in its myriad hues – from extreme euphoria to brooding despondency. Subhadip depicts the unadulterated purity of love when he says:
তুইক্লাসনাইনৈরখাতারপাতায়বুকবুক