Perhaps it is because of the books I have read previously in the genre of romance, that when I’m approached to read and review a book in that category, I imagine a very predictable storyline or even think twice about taking it up. I thought it’d be the former case when I took up the book A Thousand Unspoken Words by Paulami Duttagupta for review, but as I read on, I was pleasantly surprised that it was not so.
Can we fall in love with someone we haven’t met, an enigma we know only through their words? Tilottama feels that way about Musafir, a writer whose works have caused a furore. The writer, while trying to escape from that furore, ends up at Tilottama’s doorstep, and finds the passion of her support for him and his works. Their story begins here, but breaks when he has to leave the city for his safety. When they meet again, we come to know Riddhimaan (Musafir) is the son of Krishnakoli, under whose tutelage Tilottama is working. Tilottama though feels that the voice of Musafir is no longer there. As their lives mingle, she slowly starts to fall in love with Riddhimaan (or is it Musafir) and their relationship heads toward marriage. Will they have their happily ever after?
I love the setting of this novel. It’s very different from the romance novels I’ve read so far. A story that begins in the background of social and political agitation. Paulami’s narration brings not only this, but the character sketches to life. She brings in Tilottama, who is obsessed with the writer Musafir, but not necessarily with the person behind the pen-name, Riddhimaan. She’s quite opinionated, a devoted daughter and a devoted worker, quite easy going when she needs to be. The writer Musafir is opinionated too, but very proud, adamant, unemotional and even cynical. His other aura, Riddhimaan is not that much different, but he seems more casual, especially with how he banters with his brother and mother, and the way he charms Tama and her father. Even the secondary characters have their own unique sketches with both positive and negative aspects. Tilottama’s father, who was well-off, but lost his estate and with it, interest in life out of Darjeeling; Gopal, who calls a spade a spade etc. They are presented to us beautifully. If anything, I would have liked to know more about the enigma Musafir, especially the period of hiding, which could have been done in a flashback perhaps. It would have added to the character without taking away from the storyline.
I felt this book was beautifully written, romantic without making it expressively so. It was engaging from start to finish. I read it twice, and I think it can be read again as well. I might read her earlier book Ri too, but not very soon.
|Title: A Thousand Unspoken Words|
|Editors: Paulami Duttagupta||Genre: Romance|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9788192997599||Publisher: Readomania|
(© 29th February 2016)