Saturday, 29 July 2017

Revelations of an Imperfect Life by Sankhya Samhita: Book Review

I finished reading Sankhya Samhita's debut novel 'Revelations of an Imperfect Life' over a long distance flight and a couple of tram rides in Vienna; the book was an ideal travel companion for me, solely for the reason that the setting was in Tezpur, my home town. I had known Sankhya when she started writing for an online magazine of which I was a small part in the past, I read her blog for a couple of a years and then stopped; but I kept on recommending her blog to others who liked to read. I knew Sankhya will eventually write a book and that I will read it when she does. So, it was a pleasant surprise when I saw her Facebook timeline filled with an upcoming book release, I was happy. So, it was with some expectation that I picked up the book to read.

The story is about a thirty something woman, Tanaya who is faced with making some tough choices and who has had several 'imperfections' thrown at her by life. She decides to leave her husband in Singapore and return to her parents place at Tezpur, and this is where the rest of the story unfolds. The book is about the journey that she takes to finally answer her own questions. The narrative is solely from the point of view of Tanaya, with many characters coming into play from time to time. The major characters other than her, are her parents, her group of childhood friends, her twin sister and her husband. We only get to know what Tanaya is feeling, and what her conversations are with the other characters. There is not much light thrown on what the others are thinking or doing at the same time.

I did not find the story itself very interesting. But this is in no way to the discredit of the author. Sankhya has written the book with finesse, although some more copy editing would have definitely helped it. It seemed to me that there were parts where the problems were slightly exaggerated and there were parts where the narrative stopped at a point when I would have wanted the thread to spill for a bit longer. The style of conversation in the book was also a bit disappointing for me. The best part though was that I could relate to most of the places described in the book and most of the things she mention were also the things that I as a young kid in Tezpur would have done.

Another interesting facet of the book was the way Sankhya managed to juxtapose the past and the present seamlessly in each of the chapters. There was no pressure at any point, where she had to strain the content going; but there were times when the characters, specially her main character needed more fortitude or a better image. It is expected that the first book is not perfect, and I am sure that Sankhya can only get better for the next one, which I am sure to read.

Title: Revelations of an Imperfect Life
Author: Sankhya Samhita
Publisher: Readomania
Price: Rs. 250
Rating: 4/5

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