Author: Pradip Ghosh
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8187075813
A most engaging piece of fiction, it engulfs you once you are there and then gradually takes you to the heart of the matter. The book is very serious and takes on a new dimension during the discourse it narrates.
The story is set in a small university campus, where Virendra Chauhan – and his students are trying to set right a key instrument which has failed to function since its arrival. Although the faculty machine and the attempts to make it work form the core of the narrative, it expands into an allegory of the human spirit – its sorrows and joys, strife and peace, its unending quest — rooted in contemporary social reality.
All the events in the story take place on one particular day. As one goes through the book, one views the external world through the consciousness of an individual who is highly sensitive to all forms of nature yet at times is quite detached from the characters around him. The protagonist, both a participant and an observer, carries the reader along with him as he goes in and out of the human universe and keeps watching himself as much as we watch him. Yet, the passion for knowledge through science research and the passion for human beings and their ambitions through his concern for students, throb in him. All through the book one wonders how the day would end. It does and it does not. The collapsing of all times does create an image of both eternity and temporality, local and universal, closed yet open and in some ways deeply spiritual. The story starts as the first rays of the sun tough the earth; it fades out deep in the evening magically.
This is a particularly engaging book for the serious reader. One has to go through it slowly at times and read closely at some places for the nuances to be caught. What heightens the impact of the novel is its use of the language, in crisp dialogue, in evocative descriptions, and in the handling of transitions of moods, to experience the world created in it.
It is a very interesting portrayal of academic frustration and the problems India faces in retaining its best brains. I personally liked the end very much, it was imaginative and unusual….
A most engaging piece of fiction, it engulfs you once you are there and then gradually takes you to the heart of the matter. The book is very serious and takes on a new dimension during the discourse it narrates…
The formal sophistication is impressive, especially for a first novel. I really liked the deliberate pace, the literary echoes and references, the structuring. There is a mastery of narrative here: voice, detail, restraint—and I loved the final ‘pulling away’ para.
The Indian science/experience of being a scientist in India part. This as a cameo works superbly in many dimensions: the pace, the constituents of the drama, the drama itself….