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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Black and White

When he paints
He becomes
a happy child
All his colours
Going wild
In an art file,
That’s his
biggest treasure
A place that gives him
Endless pleasure
And every artwork
He imprisons
with a marker
black and white
A visual barrier
Against the fights
And
Within these boundaries
His happy world lies
Wiping off his tears
Soothing
his anguished cries

First Thing in The Morning πŸ™πŸ˜Š

πŸ’›
I tie my laces
First thing
In the morning
And walk out
With my cup of tea
I sit close
to the ground
So when
I get up
I carry
Parts of the Earth
Clinging to me
Reminding me about
Where I came from
And where
I’ll eventually go…
And why this day
Is so very
Precious…. πŸ’•

#morningmusings #morningwalkmagic #morning #😊

Value of Words πŸ“š πŸ€“

Many years back I made it a habit of noting down quotes or paragraphs from any book I was reading at that time.

Going down memory lane, I find out how my taste has changes, how I’ve metamorphosed over time (not necessarily to become a butterfly… 😊) Most importantly, it shows me the person I was, one that the mirror doesn’t reflect anymore.

Over the years, my ‘collection’ has grown and now when I travel, guite often, I pick up one of my Diaries that have handwritten, hand-picked words of wisdom and banter, spirituality and philosophy, mystery and poetry all in a slim volume.

Sitting at a waiting lounge or in a new city, this collection of words takes me back to the root of my being… It makes me realise that while the branches might grow unruly and wild, the core is unchanging… It is my friend that has grown with me, it has imparted its support at crucial times… It has connected me to my past in beautiful ways, one whiff from a sentence can remind me of where exactly I was sitting, which couch it was or which tree trunk against which I leaned….

Time moves on, as it should, and what moves with it, for me, are a trail of words that never fail to get me back home from all my wanderings….

#words #quotes #books

The Small Town Sea. Book Review

It must be fun being an author with a vivid imagination 😊… To make up characters and give them characteristics, to decide their quirks and idiocyncracies. To walk the reader into your imagined locations, where they unquestioningly follow….up the mountain or down by the sea.

This book, narrated in the voice of a thirteen-year-old boy, takes us into the innocence of childhood and also its acute helplessness. It takes us into a small town by the sea, where a child, uprooted from the city tries to find his bearings through a very difficult time of his life.

There is refreshing use of language here. The sentences are beautifully and meaningfully woven. The scene of a chase left me breathless as I ran with the protagonist and his friend Bilal through narrow lanes and rugged landscape, willing them to escape to safety. πŸ˜€

As the story takes shape in an unhurried manner, one is lulled by the pace of the small town sea. While it looks innocuous, this book has deeper layers that invite one to introspect. Children become unhappy pawns in the games that adults play. Quite often swallowing the screams and questions that arise…

I did take time to get fully involved in the story and many a times my pug got his teeth into it faster than me😁… But I persevered and was richly rewarded!

My Moms Mango Tree

Naanis Mango Tree

My mom and I planted this tree at our home many decades ago.

It has seen two generations clamber onto its welcoming and sturdy branches. They are the ultimate playground for every age group (barring my moms, I think πŸ˜‚)

No visit of mine is complete without reacquainting myself with this beautiful tree. It welcomes me like an old, dear friend, helps me find the best way up and holds me gently on its moss covered branches. It’s perfect for summer, it’s foliage of leaves giving out cool vapours and a faint, refreshing aroma. I can sit on this tree for hours, with or without a book or sketch pad.

Many years back, my son and I wrapped some money in a polythene and hid it in the vicinity of the tree. Neither he nor I remember where our ‘hidden treasure’ is! Digging around Moms tree will bring down unimaginable wrath, as only my nature loving mother can shower😢!

My kids write about this tree in their creative writing classes and attach many pleasing memories to it, much as one would to a dearly loved relative. 😁

I hug it goodbye, everytime I leave my moms home. Sometimes I visit it even if our home is locked and my mom is travelling out of station.πŸ™„

To say that nature relieves one of stress is an understatement… It imparts relaxation and a unique acceptance of ones so called ‘failures and successes’ . In being steadfast, it tells us that everything changes, but the core remains the same. In giving fruits intermittently, it tells us that time is never wasted, it is being used for higher goals. It also tells us that rest is vital and one should not feel guilty taking it….😊

But most importantly, it seems to say, ‘Take your time… You are precious, just the way you are… πŸ’•’

#😊 #SimplePleasuresofLife #joy