Book Review. ‘Dark Circles’ – Udayan Mukherjee

‘Dark Circles’ comes across as a simple, stark read.

The language is without frills and the dialogues, deceptively mundane.

The author has a story to tell and he goes about doing it with surgical precision.

Even with no life-altering wisdom or deeply insightful commentary on life, this book still had me riveted.

Ronojoy, twelve, and his brother Sujoy, six, are left in the care of their grandparents when their mother moves into an ashram. Twenty – eight years later, Ronojoy is handed a letter along with his mother’s meager belongings, all fitting neatly into a suitcase after her death.

The secret that the letter reveals, however, has the power to derail the lives of many… What should Ronojoy do with it, becomes the burning question.

The letter sheds some light on the events that transpired before and after she shifted. They are gripping and disturbing. The consequent fallout does take one by surprise.

As the story unfolds and finds it stride, one goes along for the ride. The path it takes meanders through the dark abyss of disturbed minds, disrupted during childhood and their fervent effort to come upon some stability in adulthood.

Udayan Mukherjee’s book deals with just that… Layer upon layer of pain originating like concentric circles in a pond after a pebble of a disturbing truth is dropped.

The relationships that are built up are neatly done, their reactions are very authentic…I was left feeling that some more creative risks could have been taken… The story moves around well-known localities of Delhi. It all sounded familiar and sometimes it felt like a friend was narrating a story that could’ve transpired in a neighbour’s house.

I wonder if this colours one’s view of the story as opposed to a fictitious, unfamiliar setting.

The face and name of the author seemed familiar too. Udayan has been on television, hosting shows and giving his valued inputs on the stock market. That he is a gifted writer too, came as a pleasant surprise.

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