A story that dealt with people, life and the many hues of emotions felt right, and that’s what first caught my attention when I read the blurb of the book, Shamsuddin’s Grave. That, coupled with a simple cover design, pushed me to take the book.
In a place where the caste and religion boundaries still exist in the mind of the people, Latika is a woman whose thoughts are modern. She treats people around her with the kindness that they deserve, and that attitude surprises Shamsuddin, a worker who goes to help her move into the house when she returns to that town. Shamsuddin has his own story too, one that shatters him. When Latika comes across a teenage rape victim, she is determined to do her bit. Can Shamsuddin help?
The book feels real. Far too often have I heard of and come across the caste barrier and how we’re reluctant to break it for some reasons. It is portrayed well here with the character of Shamsuddin, a Miya Muslim and his life. It’s the stark contrast between the other characters (including Shamsuddin) and Latika that stand out in the story. Another thing that I felt was well written was the reluctance of a parent to tell the truth regarding an abuse victim. Even when there is evidence, it’s the denial of the family that surprises, even if it is on a level, expected. I liked the simple narration that puts it out very directly and pulls the story along, and I liked the ending.
What I felt could’ve helped the book much more was editing. Typos are one thing, but editing would have helped to make the language crisp as well. It’d also help trim down parts that don’t need to be as long as they are. This may not seem like much, but it matters when they overshadow the story and take prominence.
I would say this is a one-time read because of the heaviness of the plot, as well as the lack of editing. But it’s still worth reading.
|Title: Shamsuddin’s Grave|
|Author(s): Paromita Goswami||Genre: Fiction|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9781482843941||Publisher: Partridge Publishing|
|No. of Pages: 282||Price: Rs. 450|
(© 5th April 2015)