Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Literary chords

Last night I finished reading "Silverfish" by Saikat Majumdar.

I was mesmerised by the way the book brings alive the Calcutta of 90s...the spirit of the city..its everyday tragedies...its everyday people...caught in the tragic political under currents run by its dadas, asphyxiated between red tape and despair...yet nursing its river bank evenings with tea and nostalgia...come alive through the author's words...a beautiful and tragic story...

It made me feel the pathos of the characters, it drew me from being a reader to being a participant in the lives of the characters.

The whole experience was quite cathartic.

Those who have lived in a Calcutta of the 90s, will immediately identify with the trials and tribulations of the characters. Those who did not, will get a sneak peek into the grittier realities of life in the City of Joy in that era. But do not expect to be a passive observer, the writing will draw you in, and before you know, you will be a part of the story, riding its various tides. You may chose to dance on hot roofs stealing pickles or to drag your feet up ancient colonial stairs of red brick government houses; but you will not be able to stand and stare.

A tragedy, then, is the imitation of an action that is serious... with incidents arousing pity and fear, with which to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions...

Aristotle, Poetics VI.2

For more information on the book, please visit