Thursday, 2 April 2015

The Shadow Lines - A marvelous novel

Just finished reading the shadow lines by Amitabha Ghosh. This is a quite good effort by the writer in which he depicted the cultural difference between India and England as well as the sentimental issues arose during the partition of India and Bangladesh. The story has been written around the author himself. The other main characters of the story is Tridib, author’s uncle, author’s grandmother, Robi, May and Ila. The later three are not the main characters of the novel. Tridib who was pursuing PhD in archaeology was author’s childhood friend. Author’s grandmother was almost his guardian in his childhood. She was basically from Bangladesh. She had to come to Calcutta long before partition but in Calcutta she was living with her childhood reminiscences of her native land.  Once her grandmother wished to go to Bangladesh to take back her uncle to Calcutta. Tridib, May and Robi also went with her. When they had gone to Bangladesh, that time in various part of India and Bangladesh, communal riots were going on due to religious issues. When they were coming back from Bangladesh, they were attacked by a violent mob and during that attack Tridib was killed. This is the gist of the novel. Mr. Ghosh has nicely developed the plot and well executed the sentiments of the characters. Also his brilliant choice of words will amuse any reader. Surely, the author has a unique adroit in writing novels.

But, as nothing can be total perfect, to me some part of this novel seemed little out of track. Mr Ghosh has written this novel little tortuously. In first part he pictured the situations when Tridib was there. Next, he showed the happenings after Tridib’s death. And lastly, he told about Tridib’s death. In between he changed the flow of incident numerous times. This style of writing somewhat may disgust the reader. Moreover, if he would written the whole story chronologically, I think the motto or the message he liked to share would not change. And, there are two exotic scenes in the novel. One of those characterized Tridib and other the author himself. Again, inclusion of these seemed irrelevant to me. Because the lusty nature of both of them had no use in the story flow. Except these two, the overall novel was simply awesome to me.