I am reading Shamsuddin’s Grave by a debut Indian author, Paromita Goswami.
The book cover attracted me and I picked the book from the lot to scan it closely. Silhouette of a village man holding an umbrella and the background of sky and clouds was nostalgic. It took me back to 12-13 years back, in my home town, where I have witnessed man, wearing dhotis and holding umbrella on the street of Guwahati in Assam. Even here, around Bangalore, I see similar man. And I cannot simply take my eyes off them. This is true Indian dress and they are still Indians at heart.
Next my eyes stopped at the book title ” Shamsuddin’s Grave” and my eye brows squeezed a bit. The book is about Shamsudin’s death is what I had the assumption. I found the book title quite grey and direct. Then an urge to check how he died, made me flip the book to read the summary. Here is the summary of the book:
Latika’s wrecked personal front leaves her completely shattered. So when her ailing father reveals his desire to go back home, she doesn’t think twice and moves to her hometown. She joins an NGO and comes across a teenager rape victim. Much against her TL, Debjyoti’s wish she sets out to trace the girl with Shamsuddin’s help. Will she succeed or end up in big trouble?
Shamsuddin, a daily labourer, somehow manages to thrive in the city. Meanwhile, flood devastates his house in the village. His family takes refuge in a relative’s place where his wife has a tough time resisting to the advances of her brother-in-law. Can Shamsuddin arrange for an accommodation before it is too late?
Set in Guwahati amid the backdrop of flood and ethnic turmoil, “Shamsuddin’s Grave”, is the story of migration towards big cities for a better life. (less)
The book was hinting about a social issue which is prevailing in our society. So I picked the book and started reading. I have read to Chapter 4 and the book is captivating.
The writing style of the author hooked me and created a nice picture in my mind as I was reading it. Since I belong to Assam, I could connect with every scene of it so well. It is complete narration so the flow is ongoing.
I liked the scene when Shamsudin, who is a daily waged labour in a city, goes back to village to his family whom he had left under the care of his elder brother and his ailing wife few years back. He did not seek their whereabouts all these years because he had not made enough money to take care of them. Once he had enough money, he visited them and was shocked to find his wife pregnant with his elder brother’s child. His children, who were now going to school and wearing good clothes, simply disowned him because he was not able to take care of them. After his ailing sister-in-law had passed away, his brother married Shamsidin’s wife as he did not return all these years.
There are many more passages that took me off from the regular life incidence. The world in this book is completely different from mine and yes this world also exist. I am enjoying reading it.
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