Books with Bengali nostalgia always brings me back home. ‘A flutter in the colony’ was one such book, where I found myself back in my room, sipping tea with my friends on an ‘Adda’ session, munching on some ‘nimki’.
The language, Sandeep Ray has used was volatile enough to include Bengali, Tamil, Chinese and, Malayan and still not stand out like a sore thumb. The raw political details from pre-partition era and post-independence India, somehow was eerily similar to the current political scenario. The author, via the protagonist tried to explain how the common gentry gets all worked up for superfluous political propaganda when they have nothing to gain and everything to lose.
View this post on Instagram
Book Review: A Flutter in the Colony
Maloti was the representative of the involvement of women in the Indian independence and during the Bengal partition. The way her voices were heard resonates deep into our society. It takes a lot to be heard and to be listened to.
Bengal famine sucked the life out of Bengalis but this Sandeep was capable of putting life into the incident capable of making you empathize with the population, even if you had no idea what had happened.
Communal violence and people pitted against each other in the name of religion, gets one to wonder, when will this end? It has been always like this. Yet we don’t learn, do we?
Sandeep beautifully went back and forth on two timelines; one in India and the other one in Malaya some 15 years apart and the effortless transition was mind blowing. His meticulous research in culture, traditions, people, was commendable. One thing worth mentioning is the table of contents. The titles fluctuated alternatively from something as simple as “Rice” to something as ‘bhitkel’ as “The pamphleteers”.
He dropped truth bombs like anything and pretended like he didn’t destroy me forever and moved on with the story. This casual storytelling was an absolute necessity while handling such painful stuff. The story was woven quite perfectly with mild hints for what was about to come, making this quite the perfect light read with quite heavy feelings.
Highly recommended for all those fanatics out there who enjoyed their history lessons in school. And even if you were never into history, do try to read this one. Buy A Flutter in the Colony online at Amazon here.