Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lunatic in my Head

The unusual title of the book prompted me to pick this up.‘Two O’clock on an April afternoon the color of dusk.’ The opening sentence itself gives you a taste of poetic style of writing of  Anjum Hasan.

The book opens with the life of Firdaus Ansari, a college lecturer of English literature who fails to see any purpose in what she is doing.  Like Firdaus , the numerous other ordinary characters in the book Aman , Mr and Mrs Moondy, Ribor, eight years old Sophie who has discovered that she is an adopted child , Mr and Mrs Das, timid and insecure Aman who is a civil services aspirant  but has his heart is music, go about their lives wondering at the same time the very profundity of their lives.

Effortlessly written and beautifully crafted, Lunatic is about the ordinary lives of ordinary people each one struggling to find its meaning.  The story unfolds emotion by emotion yet it is a fast moving book. The book virtually transports you to Shillong where it is raining and misty all the time. Anjum Hassan has reiterated that a good book need not always follow the conventional route of proper intro, gradually building of characters, body, conclusion and climax. The description, narration and the treatment given to the characters rule the roost.

There is no single protagonist in Lunatic. Only in the sequel Neti Neti Not This Not That Sophie Das emerges as the protagonist of the novel. The mistake I made, I read Neti Neti before I read Lunatic. 

A thought provoking book which leaves a bitter sweet lingering taste in your mouth making you wonder why most of us  fail to take control of our lives .

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