Rubina's Reviews > A Thousand Unspoken Words

A Thousand Unspoken Words by Paulami Duttagupta
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really liked it
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To do or not to do
Is a dilemna in every girl's heart when she meets her soul mate. But here it is an entirely different story. To love the myth or the reality? One of the most complex characters I have read in the recent past. Ms. Duttagupta has created a man with many layers - a writer, a reformer, a struggler- disillusioned and lost; and above all, a lover. That is Musafir for you.
Tilottama, is idealism personified. Her strength is her love for the writings of Musafir. Her strong belief in his writing is not held by Musafir himself. When he meets Tilottama for the first time, he is standing on the precipice of idealism and materialism. And when Tilottama lays her eyes on him for the first time she is already in love with Musafir.

Yes. I am. I love him. He gives me a reason to love, to feel each moment of life, to write. And if Musafir is a woman, I will still be in love,‟ she said with fierce passion.

But then, he is no longer only Musafir. But a man who has accepted his Doppelganger self -Riddhimaan.

Riddhimaan or Musafir?
There is no mystery in the fact that Riddhimaan and Musafir are one and the same. Yet the transition is profound. One might find Riddhimaan very practical and rude compared to the idealistic Musafir and just like Tilottama one might fall in love with Musafir. It will then hit you that he is nothing but an mirage. The more Tilottama runs towards him, the faster he merges into Riddhimaan. The more she craves for Musafir, the more he becomes the shadow of Riddhimaan. Tilottama feels cheated in love for she was not only in love with the man but also his ideals.

Naive Idealism
It is at this moment I found Tilottama's naivety belonging to the old world. In the same house lives another couple - Rajdeep and Mimi. Just perfect. A huge contrast to the imperfection of Tilottama and Riddhimaan. Which itself is strange for both of the brothers, Riddhimaan and Rajdeep are product of the same culture and environment but by creating this difference the author has cleverly woven why Riddhimaan became Musafir and vice versa.

My favorite part of the story was when a pseudonym becomes a split personality. You could make out the hatred Riddhimaan has for Musafir.
Riddhimaan sighed and looked for an answer. What was the problem with him? He had wanted people to read his works, he had wanted money, and to come back to Kolkata. And he had all of it now. Was he slipping into depression?
Weakness clashes with idealism and the loss is suffered by everyone touching his life. And the person burned the most is none other than Tilottama.

Growing up
And it was then you see the transition in her. A girl child growing to become a woman. A girl child who has lost the mother figure in her life, has lost the love of her life to a world of insanity and who knows that she is the "key" who can bring her Riddhimaan back. The only question is - what will happen to her true love - Musafir?

This novel is by no means an easy read. Not following the thread of boy meets girl and falls in love, this novel is more about the aftermath of falling in love. When you fall in love with a person and he changes, it is fine. But when you are bound together by idealism and belief - to let go of all that is one of the most difficult thing a girl can do. Moreover, Ridddhimaan is one of the most selfish characters I have read about. His self pity was maddening and his self loathing, to me, was degrading. Which makes him all the more realistic to the readers.

I have read the other works of Paulami Duttagupta; and always found her language simple yet empowering. Politically inclined which I suspect is Ms. Duttagupta's poison or should I say passion? I also suspect that Tilottama's naive idealism is none other than a reflection of the author's thoughts which in this novel is very endearing.

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Reading Progress

January 24, 2016 – Started Reading
January 30, 2016 – Shelved
January 30, 2016 – Shelved as: reviewed
January 30, 2016 – Finished Reading

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