★ Avoid ★★ No Great Loss ★★★ Worth Reading ★★★★ Close to Masterpiece ★★★★★ Masterpiece
Excerpt from book:
Between the sea and the plains of Bengal, on the easternmost coast of India, lies an immense archipelago of islands. Some are vast and some no larger than sandbars; some have lasted through recorded recorded history while others have just washed into being. These are Sundarbans. Here there are no borders to divide fresh water from salt, river from sear, even land from water. Here, for hundreds of years, only the truly dispossessed braved the man-eating tigers and the crocodiles who rule there, to eke a precarious existence from the mud. Here, at the beginning of the last century, a visionary Scotsman founded a utopian settlement where peoples of all traces, classes and religions could live together.
The settlers of the Sundarbans believe that anyone without a pure heart who ventures into the watery labyrinth will never return. it is the arrival of Piyali Roy, of Indian parentage but stubbornly American, and of Kanai Dutt, a sophisticated Delhi businessman, that disturbs the delicate balance of settlement life. Kanai has returned to the islands on request of his aunt, a local figure, for the first time since the death of his uncle, a political radical who died mysteriously in the aftermath of a local uprising. When Piya, who is on the track of the rare river dolphin, hires Fokir, an illiterate but proud local man to guide her through the backwaters, Kanai becomes her translator. From this moment, the begins to turn.
I got this book as a Gift from friends, Hitesh and Supriya, on my birthday (Thanks to Sreejita for suggesting such a wonderful book to Hitesh and Supriya). It was in my wishlist since long time and so unable to control my desire to read it on same day. I am reading Amitav Ghosh first time and truly speaking, I loved his writing a lot. What a writer?.. I am becoming fan of Amitav Ghosh. The plot is brilliant. The narrative moves fluidly between past and present. In The Hungry Tide, he shuttles between the Morichjhanpi incident from Nirmal’s point of view, and the present day travels of Piya Roy, Kanai and Fokir.
The tide begins to turn with the advent of two seekers from the outside world, Piyali Roy – an Indian-American marine biologist in search of the Irrawaddy dolphins and Kanai Dutt – an urbane translator from New Delhi who’s there to retrieve his deceased uncle Nirmal’s journal. Their lives become intertwined particularly with Fokir, an illiterate but proud fisherman, who has the “rivers in his heart”. It is a story of love, revolution, brutal history and the place of man within the treacheries of nature with convoluted past in the backdrop of 1970s Bengal which creates a drama that is wholly compelling .
Beautiful phrases from Rilke’s Poem in this book:
‘we, who have always thought of joy
as rising… feel the emotion
that almost amazes us
when a happy thing falls.’
‘beauty is nothing
but the start of terror we can hardly bear,
and we adore it because of the serene scorn
it could kill us with..’
‘Each slow turn of the world carries such disinherited
ones to whom neither the past not the future belong.’
‘To sing about someone you love is one thing; but, oh,
the blood’s hidden guilty river-god is something else’.
‘already know by instinct
we’re not comfortably at home
in our translated world’.
It’s a beautifully crafted novel. Go, Get and Read it.
About Sundarbans – The Sundarbans is the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world. The Sunderbans is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, most of which is situated in Bangladesh with the remainder in India.
The Sundarbans National Park is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, and a Biosphere Reserve located in the Sundarbans delta in the Indian state of West Bengal. Sundarbans South, East and West are three protected forests in Bangladesh. This region is densely covered by mangrove forests, and is one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger. For More, read on Wiki.
[Source: Wiki] Amitav Ghosh (born July 11, 1956), is a Bengali Indian author best known for his work in English fiction. Ghosh is the author of The Circle of Reason (his 1986 debut novel), The Shadow Lines (1988), The Calcutta Chromosome (1995), The Glass Palace (2000), The Hungry Tide (2004), and Sea of Poppies (2008), the first volume of The Ibis trilogy, set in the 1830s, just before the Opium War, which encapsulates the colonial history of the East. Ghosh’s latest work of fiction is River of Smoke (2011), the second volume of The Ibis trilogy. Most of his works deals with an historical setting, especially in the context of Indian Ocean world.
Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. – Oscar Wilde
!!! Enjoy Reading !!!