A book that took me back to the labyrinth of my roots!
Shakti Ghosal has penned down a wonderful book. Astami, Pandemic, Fault lines , and The Chronicler of the Hoogly comprise the four stories in the book. Each story revolves around the repercussions of misdeeds and karma, often transcending over decades. The smooth knitting of the stories does not fail to impress the reader with the actual facts with slight creative suggestions made for the crevices in the history.
Ashtami marks the auspicious 8th day of the Durga Puja festival. It’s a festival of grandeur. The story transcends pre and post-independence timelines narrating in detail the life of a Bengali family who settles in Delhi over time.
Pandemic runs parallelly drawing comparisons between the Spanish Flu and present COVID situation – how families have been affected cumulatively over time. Work from home may be delightful at times, however, it also brings to the table all the uncomfortable truths we usually try to avoid in the garb of quality time.
Fault lines took captured my attention for it’s twists. Anjan’s life turns upside down when his past comes haunting him with misdeeds he had done to achieve his goals. His conscience visits him in form of his old friend and berates him for each incident that served his selfish needs.
The Chronicler of the Hoogly took me on a ferry ride on the mighty Hoogly river, along with Samir. The author paints a beautiful picture of Kolkata, interweaving past and present moments seamlessly.
The reader is sucked into the vortex of politics fueled by the dark greed of a woman, Joba. Her tentacles reached through established families and ruined their homes. One misdeed leads to another and soon, the scheming British took an opportunity to hammer on the existing cracks. All of which culminated in the fall of the stature of Bengal as a prospering land.
The last story etched in mind the glory of Kolkata and her bountiful land. Kolkata has survived the frequent attacks from outsiders, yet, she has managed to retain her heritage with full grace. Possibly since, being Bengali, the story struck a chord in my heart. For a fact, Kolkata tourism does offer a ferry ride through all the ghats and I was surprised that it molded into such a tale!
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