Sunday, April 29, 2012

Family Matters!

Book Review: Fiction/Tread Softly by Nandita Bose, Rupa, 198 pp; Rs195 (Paperback)

The respect for literary structure is under severe attack with the upsurge of informal popular book productions. These popular books are by large hard enough to be taken like the factors of literary emancipation or the stimuli for healthy creative engagements. At on a turn of major changes, is it possible finding a new kind of writing that could be placed in between the pure literature and popularly delivered fiction? In “Tread Softly”, the debutant Nandita Bose seems showing the similar way with abiding to the basic literary tenets and without making it a restricted reading only for the purely conscious readers, which also keeps the populist tributes alive inside her overtly feminized plot.

This well written novel on an unusually tough family story sets high scores from the point of view of poignant narratives though slightly escapes diversifying its fold to co-relate the development of themes with the outside world. Whatever the appearances of the outside world, this novel visualises are shadowy in nature and suggests their approaches forwardly as interfering and distortive-these worldly oddities are presented profoundly but what lacks the much needed broadening of images in multifaceted terms. The novel centrally walks with its protagonists-Paroma and her replacement groom, Abhinn who are by the nature of their marital circumstances and later failure to redefine it falls to the level of breakup before the values and emotions timely return and kept the family in union.

In eastern cities like Calcutta or Jamshedpur or even in the rural areas of these sides, such stories are not unheard off, so the depiction of these two places, their relative asymmetric characteristics have found a proper shape. If considering the delineative aspects on mapping “psyche” and “acts” of characters, Nandita clearly has an edge in embodying her female protagonist so natural and close to the real life. Though, even with citing all the wrongness of Abhinn, his character could have build less irreverent, which would have made the end in novel more justified when the same man reappears changed and much credible!

Like many social institutions, in the recent past, family too underwent the major fluctuations with growing integration among geographies and culture. Though the theme and mandate of this book is only remotely entitled with those broadly categorical dynamics but at some stages, the complications inside the lives of two representatives characters of the novel hardline the essentiality of interruption from the external participants if the basic of bond, bound to be out of equilibrium. The broken threads lastly can be collected and reshape only by the values, which the crux of this novel reaffirms.

A piece of literature like this has ample chances of letting a natural progress of the sequences besides inserting some creative overtures possible. Though, a family can’t be seen with the superlative evaluation of its either parts but some weightage could be drawn asymmetric in special cases-the way Nandita does extra delineation on the family raw from a feminist angle. Somehow, this can’t be taken superficial as the reasons let solid allowance on this behalf. In the basic framework, a woman supposed to be on the receiving end in unfortunate family clashes but also the stability comes from her side-sacrifice or standing with equal height normalizes the situations but the both cases are still not for taken as “buzz”. This book will be fine for the readers who care for formal expressions on the living stories of familiar lives-sometime good, sometime stark but never escapable!
Atul Kumar Thakur
April 29, 2012, Sunday, New Delhi


  1. Atul Kumar Thakur :Three words to sum up your writing “ What a review” :) The extract from your review -A woman is supposed to be on the receiving end in unfortunate family clashes but also the stability comes from her side-sacrifice or standing with equal height --- A woman “the only species “ I have profound adoring to :) not because I am one.As rightly put by you the following lines are the crux of your writing and the novel too “ The broken threads lastly can be collected and reshape only by the values which is the crux of this novel reaffirms. “According to me an add on is EMOTION - a state of feeling - The family bondage can be strong only if “values and emotion “ are considered .

  2. A very well-argued review. I'll reserve my opinion of the book till I read it, but certainly sounds promising. Glad to hear publishers in India are once again starting to meet readers halfway between the populist vs. overtly literary camps. Good news indeed.