Protibader Bhasha ~ by @Aagan86 #BookReview

Before I review this book, I think few key things to call out: Bangla is my second language and this is my very first review in my native language. That Agnivo thought I was worthy to even review this, means a lot to me. Given the current political context, this book of poems hits home like no other.

My perspective is biased (not to the poet but to the context) hence discretion is advised.

Context –

These poems have in its core a deep seated nationalism – one that has been invoked in Bengal time to time, ever since Bengali Nationalist Movement. So when in 2021 Bengal was slated for Legislative Assembly and there was an impending wave of change, most Bangali’s were both fearful and excited.

But one common theme reigned, protibad / revolt against the perceived tyrannies of our times spearheaded by a political agenda. Why is there a need for this explanation? If this context is not kept as a backdrop, it is hard to truly appreciate the writing, the reference and literature is but a mirror of the society. It is like literary history of our current times, no matter what your ideologies are.

My thoughts ~

I was touched to be able to read and witness this change, even as probashi living some 1200 km away. I too was feeling the emotions, the trepidation and zeal to truly take a stand. Having said this, this is Bengal’s collective perception of our times. This book of poems will be testament of finding a voice of protest against injustice.

Agnivo is a terrific writer, his command over the language is established long back. Avid reader, history lover, literally stands tall of the familiar Bengal we truly love. His passion for Bengal, led by his staunch ideology has been beautifully encapsulated in this book. What we felt in degrees and he expressed this and so much better too.

Few of his writing haunts me:

Protibad / revolt / protest comes in many forms. It is lead by despair and helplessness. Recording what is the general feeling, these lines truly bring back those emotions. How many of us have feared atrocities in expressing a public opinion against an established ideology, how many have prayed for the well being of our loved ones? How many examples are there who have perished, not deserving of an honourable repose. Examples are there in the suppressed headlines, in botched up news, in diversion tactics and sometimes with just a slight of hand.

This book touches upon various themes and issues : women’s safety, failure of judiciary, monopoly of media, freedom of expression, oppression etc – Some of the leading issues that are country wide, only bravely protested upon by Bengali and acing it. First by the popular song by Artists United and now by this lovely book of poems.

I am reading Bangla after eons (not proud) so definitely I was rusty. But this book of poems took me a while to process because of the emotions it invoked!

If you sync with this ideology or not, this is truly well written!! Will remain a testament of the Protibaad that fuelled the Poriborton, that Bengal choose!

Leaving with a parting quote ~

“What Bengal thinks today India thinks tomorrow”

– Gopal Krishna Gokhale

@Elif_Safak Why I have come to love her!

With busy lives, it becomes even more difficult to take out time to read. But read I do, holiday, transit during traveling in metros or during long drives. Since I have considerably reduced the books I review I thought it was only fair to put out some of the reads I picked up but never really got a chance to review them. This post is not just about those books but this is about Elif Safak, how I stumbled on one of her books and then fell deeply in love, not just with her writing but about Turkey. There is something that makes you just fall in love with her characters, they are balanced, relatable with deep back history that make them very rounded.

Image result for The Forty Rules of Love

Forty rules of love: This was my very first book of hers. I stumbled upon her book in full circle bookstore in Khan Market, I’d have to credit the bookstore which is one of the few which prided themselves of storing books from all parts of the world rich in culture and critically acclaimed across the world. Thus I picked the book and kept reading till I could read no more; just like that I finished the book in less than 24 hours on a work week. Because I had read Rumi before in college so I had a good context. It is through Shams of Tabriz and Rumi which got featured in Sweet Blasphemy which was being reviewed by Ella; that we come across the forty rules of love. This has been very layered and was not an easy first read but the book is captivating till the end.

Other books of hers I have come to love, that you must pick up are:

The architects apprentice

The three daughters of eve

The bastards of Istanbul

This book and the others mentioned above are from personal collection. 

Wonder by @RJPalacio

I Wonder how I picked this book. For one I was at a bookstore and was drawn to it. It did not have much of an excerpt but I read the reviews on the cover, I went around, looked at other books and kept coming back. It was one of those days when I did not want to read something heavy, I was moody and I needed something soothing. All I remember reading “do yourself a favor and read the book” and I did. Two days and several bouts of tears later there I was sad that it was over! Been so utterly moved.

There are a million things running through my mind at the moment, I have just finished watching the movie and I have relived Auggie. Kindness is a virtue long forgotten but it is the very thing that sets us apart. A life far from ordinary is not an easy one, for a preconceived notion is hard to alter but like the author says “Why be ordinary when you were born to be different!” that is Auggie for you. What was typically a children’s book gave me a perspective about life like no other. I wept when Daisy breathed her last, I was hurt when Jack Will was just like those other mean kids, it was hard not to be angry at Miranda or feel Via’s neglect or that nervous trepidation of a mother who wants the best for her child but always worried if her choices were the right one.
Wonder, it shows you how life is, true and sometimes harshly so. But it also shows how kindness, perseverance, love and bravery triumphs it all. It teaches us of value systems that our generation needs in a world of materialism. This is one of those books, I am going to hand this book down to my kid when he /she is of readable age. T

It is a sensitive topic without being too preachy. If you are a parent or parent to be, or a kid going to school, a kid who is an older sibling, or a kid who has a ‘special’ kid at school or if you are just a person who needs a random read which will make you feel good and feel good about life, this is it!

If you are not much of a reader (which would be a shame because the book is really good!) then don’t forget to watch the movie! You can thank me later 🙂
This book is from a personal collection!

The Perils of Being Moderately Famous Book by @sakpataudi

I’ve been seeing book promotions for this one and I really wanted to read this, purely based on curiosity since I saw some news articles where Soha Ali Khan had owned the internet trolls (yes I do shamelessly read the gossip columns too) Just saying but it is actually her command over the language (I read the excerpt on kindle before buying it) that truly made me read this.

_691433c4-c6a8-11e7-a37e-1053cac6ca52What I absolutely loved about the book was the candidness, the flow of language, the little anecdotes that made the book so relatable and  endearing.

There were portions I laughed out loud where Soha came across as someone who wanted to be modest but flaunted her illustrious background trying to be extremely subtle about it. She is entitled we know but the little things like being on a bus for the first time, that two bhk apartment was tiny accordingly to her; may seem pretentious when you compare it to the overall Indian standard of life, you tend to scorn. But the perspective remains that she is an erstwhile princess and after the end of dynastic rule the fortunes changed needs to be remembered in perspective in order to truly enjoy the book.

My favourite parts of the book was the parts about Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, where she narrated his obsession with the landline and how he was frugal in his choice of words as well. As an outsider there was a twinge of pain almost relating to how she still spoke to her dad (dad’s grave) and how despite being from such an illustrous family her parents’ endeavored to give her a normal life. The tiny faux pas, her boy friends, her pregnancy was relatable and in some ways very lovable.

I can’t say this enough, her language is what I just couldn’t get enough. This book is very well written, Soha’s command of the language, the lil nuances and those anecdotes that made the book such a brilliant read. If you didn’t already find her feisty, level headed and knowledgeable this book will totally change your mind.

Pick this book up for a nice, entertaining, quick read.

This book is from my personal collection.


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