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This is a review of the original and the translations by Prasenjit Gupta(English) which you can read here https://www.parabaas.com/translation/..., and the Hindi translation by Ramsingh Tomar published by Sahitya Akademi.
I feel unqualified to comment on this story, it is very powerful and leaves you with Mrinal's voice in your head. The wife's letter is a journey of a woman's voice shattering the boundaries of being a wife, a daughter in law, rising above the confinements of the antar mahal. It is a story of life defeating society and its rules. Some of the images used to tell this story deserve repeated readings. The hindi translation manages to retain a lot of the culture-specific nuances, but the English version has done a very good job with the images. If you can't read the story in bangla, I would recommend reading both the translations. Overall this is one of my favorite stories by Tagore, certainly one of the most powerful....more
This is such a fun read. Dali's mother is hilarious, she will have you cracking up. I don't usually like Jim's character(back off Kate man!) but theseThis is such a fun read. Dali's mother is hilarious, she will have you cracking up. I don't usually like Jim's character(back off Kate man!) but these two make such an intriguing couple. This novella explores a new mythology and a new relationship and it was so quintessentially Ilona Andrews with its humour, romance and action scenes....more
My head has been such a maelstrom of thoughts for the past few days. Thoughts that weren't blurry landmarks passing by a moving train but instead behaMy head has been such a maelstrom of thoughts for the past few days. Thoughts that weren't blurry landmarks passing by a moving train but instead behaved like guests who sat down, made themselves comfortable and decided to have a conversation. I was so soothed and agitated by this book. It sprang up on me and then gently led me into this room where those guests lay waiting. I am very glad to give this book a 5-star rating based on that effect alone.
I have a complicated relationship with YA coming of age stories, I often end up judging the characters, finding them unsympathetic because their problems seem so privileged and far off. This could be a reflection of me rather than the book, but that has just been the reading experience. With this novel, it wasn't about the nature of the issues the narrator faced or its relatability. The beauty of this story lies in how it is told, it transports you into the mind of a teenager. Ari is a self-professed loner but even if he wasn't so much of teenage is spent inside one's head, ruminating and creating the fiction of who you are and who you want to be. Every problem carries with it a sense of urgency, it is the end of the world and the 'I' is the epicenter of every conflict. It is about negotiating an uneasy truce with the world outside while going through this whole complicated process of discovering oneself. Of course, none of this gets over as soon as some invisible threshold of adulthood, but according to me, teenage is the time when one feels so alone with these universal problems. Ari's world is such an authentic depiction of this process, he could be a truly heinous character but once I was allowed an entry into his mind there is no way I could have hated him.
There are plenty of things that make this book great - the depiction of masculinity, the exploration of identity, a discussion around dreams and repression. I absolutely loved the parents in the story. It produced this constant chatter in my head, I would read a line and my thought process would become a journal entry. I genuinely loved going back into that headspace where I thought like Ari. Like Dante, I just wanted to take this book and take my younger self and yell I love you. I have been so stingy with ratings lately, but this book reminded me of that sweet spot that can exist with the content, the style and the effect it creates falling in the right place. I highly recommend it and look forward to other books by Sáenz....more