Skip to main content

Book Review - One Indian Girl



With 'One Indian Girl', CB breaks new ground. He writes in the voice of a woman, he talks about the challenges the Indian society, the Great Indian Family, the workplace keep throwing at modern urban Indian women, and how the protagonist battles against all of this and also, "her own inner voice at times". The last is a very clever and in this context, very successful writing ploy. CB maintains an almost parallel thread where the inner voice of the girl, brought up in a conservative, archaic environment seeped in ridiculous traditions, is often in conflict with the decisions her learned, logical and rational mind takes.
In some sections of the book, I see CB taking a VERY mature and evolved tone of writing - in sharp contrast to some of his earlier books. The couple of sequences (one in her US apartment and another in her Hong Kong apartment) where the girl stands for her dignity and her values, even at the prospect of her dreams and her love being shattered, were VERY convincing. I loved the dialogues, and the nuances and body languages that CB portrays in those scenes.
However, the story does have its stereotypes. The Bengali boy is predictably in a 'creative' profession, miserly, communist in his outlook, not ambitious and unsure about where he wants to go in life. The corporate honcho at 45 is salt-and-paper but super-fit and sexy, has a wife and children tucked away while he sleeps with the girl at work. The geek working in FB of course has a side-parting, agrees to an arranged marriage and looks up to his would-be bride to get his nerdy existence moving and shaking. And of course, the DDLJ-ish ploy that each of these men adopts to wrench her away from the 'mandap'.
Also, the book takes on a very frothy, almost comical, tone when these men land up at the wedding and that did not go well for me, especially after the very evolved and intense writing about these individual relationships.
But, the stereotypes notwithstanding, this definitely, is a break-out novel from CB and a step in the right direction towards the next level of CB-Lit.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How far down the abyss will you go?

Author Sabarna Roy's Abyss is a quick read in the format of a short 2-act play that manages to leave a lasting impact.

In the garb of a murder mystery, Abyss raises pertinent questions around the burning issue of land procurement for the purpose of industrialization. It takes a realistic look at the plight and the resulting compromises of authors in the modern ecosystem, where the quality of one's work is not enough to catapult one to heights of success and popularity. Most importantly, Abyss impressed me with its intriguing and realistic character sketches.

It leaves the reader with questions - how do we deal with indelible scars from the past? What prices do we pay for our ascent and how hard can we fall? How far down the abyss do our lust and our craving for power drive us?  When do relationships that we treasured till the other day, don't matter any more?

Kudos to the author Sabarna Roy! I look forward to reading his other books.

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

A Brilliant Debut

“Visions of a Summer Past” is the debut novel of Avishek Gupta. I have read Avishek’s short stories in the past and started reading his debut novel with certain expectations. The good news is that, his writing exceeds all my expectations.
The story chronicles the journey of a family across five generations, starting in the 40’s with the Partition as backdrop and ending in this decade. Selecting this as the premise of one’s debut novel, in itself, proves that Avishek is a gutsy author. When your canvas is so wide and varied, you need to not only develop characters that are true to the times and spaces they inhabit, but you also sign up for exploring the changing social, political and cultural milieu of a nation or nations as your story traverses through time. And this is where Avishek excels.
In his novel, you see the gradual progression of means of livelihood – farmers and landlords, independent practitioners of law, entrepreneurs, public servants, and practitioners of cutting-edge tech…