Friday, May 25, 2007


Yesterday I asked a friend of mine not to post reviews of books and movies on her blogs. But here I am writing my next blog about a book which is occupying most of the hours that I am awake.

Well I won’t write a review on “Shantaram”, because I think there will be ample number of people who would have done the same.

What I want to voice is the influence the book has had over me.

The novel is set in Mumbai. And each page is seeped in the atmosphere of Aamchi Mumbai.

As I sit in the platform and read through the pages of the novel, it’s as if I am tele-ported to Bombay. Most novels have this effect on me since I have a vivid imagination. I construct the places and people in the novels in detail. But this novel seamlessly throws me into the lives of the characters. It’s never like I read 2-3 lines and then I get into the flow of things. On the contrary it’s more like even as I am walking on the streets of Hyderabad, I have the sights and sounds of Mumbai zipping past me. From the slums of Bombay, to the crowded trains, to the swank hotels – there has been not a single instance where I had to read a line twice to get the picture. Rather there are umpteen instances when I re-read the lines to re-live the incident.

The incidents that have been mentioned in this novel are not earth shattering events. But the way the nuances have been outlined and the way the sheer indomitableness of the human spirit that has been described-it leaves me speechless and eloquent at the same time.

Simplicity is said to have an intangible charm. After reading Shantaram I know the worth of this saying. The author has down played many events and gone on an even pace as if he is writing a diary. There is no embellishment and no hype in any page. In spite of that I am all agog to read. I can feel a taut wire of suspense; I can feel an undercurrent of mystery as if I am reading a thriller.

Each sentence in the novel is a full of wisdom. I am tempted to underline each and every printed letter. I read some sentences again and again so that I can commit them to memory. But each time I remember one sentence of profound wisdom, I stumble upon another, some sentences down the line. And I wish I had some supernatural memory to have the whole book in my head. But Alas! God has given me limited capacities to learn. : (

The book is replete with examples which show the author’s keen sense of observation. And many a times I mouth the words “exactly” and “how true” when he makes a comment on a certain situation. He uses just the right words to convey the message. And that ensures the message makes the impact.

I am said to have a very transparent face. It’s easy for people to decipher my feelings from my expressions. I am sure while reading my face must be a kaleidoscope of expressions. Many times I have caught myself cringe my nose in disgust or raise my eyebrows in astonishment or release a gasp of breath in relief.

Well, the novel is like surreal force on me. I wonder when I might be able to come out of the enchantment of Shantaram.


Nazia said...

really? is it so good? m sure gonna read it now. why didnt u come online today

ambika said...

hey when r coming to bbsr?
don't forget to bring the book or better u courier it to me.

Parisbuggy said...

Amrita, Thanks a lot for your encouraging comment on my blog. It means a lot to an amateurish blogger like me. You, on the other hand are adept at writng your thoughts precisely. The first thing I will do after I log off today, is get a copy of 'Shantaram'. Thanks again and keep writing.:)

sameepa said...

Bravo !!!!! You made my imagination come alive with this blog of urs :)
I literally could feel every emotion that you might have been experiencing. Looks like Santaram has had a great influence on you. I'll definitely read it and hope that it has a similar impact on my writing prowess :D

Ashma said...

Well articulated feelings dear. :)
This is twice in a week that I am hearing praises abt the book.. even rashmi told she is reading it.. definitely gonna read it when i m back.. keep blogging.. :)

The Duke said...

The first thought that comes to me when I think of Shantaram is 'what a life!' ... nicely put.

Renu said...

very rightly said, I wanted to say the same thing:)...he is brilliant in his observations..I also wanted to quote a few things but then I forgot while writing:)

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