The heart must be really happy! After all isn’t it the favourite topic amongst the current generation of writers? And aren’t they all selling like hot cakes at the cost of annoying the intellectuals and lovers of high literature? Literature has the responsibility of increasing knowledge. Or so, is the general belief. Now, how is this strange fetish for ‘matters of the heart’ brought out, written and read in such direct and straightforward manner, helping us in gaining any substantial knowledge? What is it that attracts writer and readers to this vital human organ that does more than just pumping blood?
I kept mulling over all the above questions for several days but could not come up with any satisfactory answers. Then one fine morning, a relatively lesser known FB friend, a young budding writer, Sapatarshi Basu approached me with his second Novel –“Autumn in my heart. ” “Please read it and share your views.” He requested. I promptly agreed.
And so friends, I believe, Nature gave me an opportunity to read one such book and at least try finding out for myself, the answers, to my questions as posed above. (Incidentally, the subject matter of Saptarshi’s first book was again…no prizes for guessing …. “The heart” The title was “Love, Logic and the God’s Algorithm”). Very unusual title. I know. But I guess it did well. That is why we have another one on the same subject by the very- youthful- looking author. I use the words ‘youthful looking’ coz I am really not sure of his age. Could be mid twenties or early thirties? But he does look good. J. You do Saptarishi! And that is part of the whole charm of picking up your book. I bet girls (especially in Kolkata), looked at the title, saw your boyish picture smiling back at them and said – “Let’s buy this one… he kind of looks cute!” Oh well….it’s a compliment. Don’t take it otherwise
Let me get down to sharing my thoughts on the book now…before I get you all mixed up as to what exactly I am trying to convey -
“Autumn in my heart” is a simple tale set in contemporary times. Boy meets girl, girl breaks boy’s heart, and promptly moves on. (Girls! it seems like you all are becoming experts in breaking hearts?) Boy stays true to his first girl friend's memories. Decides never to fall in love again, but promises are meant to be broken, and so another girl (this time a no nonsense girl, who is ambitious and has big dreams), comes his way, tugs at his heartstrings till he forgets his promise he made to himself and follows his love stuck heart. But this time round it is true love and is completely reciprocated! Happy Ending. So, what is so extraordinary about the whole story? You may ask.
Well, there are several things. To begin with - the simple style of narration. Now people may debate this but in my own opinion, nowadays youngsters prefer direct and straight to the point, style of writing. CB started it. Others followed. And why not? Why should flowery, difficult to understand, long winding sentences become a hindrance for readers in reading or connecting with an otherwise great story.
I also found that Saptarshi picked up and tried exploring two important and relevant topics in his story. One, can internet love blossom into true love and a lifelong relationship? Many love stories are blossoming on the net. Young hearts get attracted to each other virtually first before physically meeting each other. So, what is the fate of such love stories? Are they for real? The second issue his story highlighted and dealt with was that of Gay or Homo sexuals and their feelings, desires and frustrations for being ostracized and ignored by the Society at large.
Also, the story kept moving between past and present, and attempted to keep the readers intrigued and guessing. To an extent he did succeed in achieving the necessary result through his writing style. However, as a reader my only observation not in his favour is that he needs to brush up his grammar. J Also, work on the language a bit more. And I am sure with the right attitude, hard work and lots of good reads he will soon be coming out with some more extremely interesting and heart rendering work in future. My best wishes to him.
As far as the questions that I posed to myself in the beginning of this write up are concerned, let me share...they still remain un answered? Why….the obsession with the Heart? Anyone out there who can answer my question? May be people are tired of staying mechanically occupied with worldly matters. Maybe they look for something that would make them smile, feel happy, touched or rejuvenated. Maybe they feel they will get answers to their own problems related to matters of the heart by reading such stories. (After all even fiction is partially based on or inspired by reality), Or maybe they just want to read a good love story and keep their own hopes alive for a real - life love story. Whatever it might be….one thing is for sure that the human heart will continue to dominate the human mind….at least in the stories.