Most of the stories we come across are set on a basic formula — there is a straight narrative, i.e., the storyline, and then there are fillers, events and details which complement the narrative. In other words, the narrative serves as skeleton for the story, and the details put flesh on that skeleton to create a complete story. While reading Madhumoy (Bengali) by Sunil Gangopadhyay, I felt a slightly different style of composition. There is a core idea, which Sunil wants to communicate. To convey this idea in fiction rather than non-fiction, he yarns a narrative — a very rich, involved and complex storyline. Finally, there are details to make the narrative seem authentic, realistic and something close to our own everyday experiences. The composition is thus very complex, and if you analyse it in the aforementioned manner and are able to recognise the three ingredients, then you would be able to appreciate this work in all its beauty. Fortunately, it is not difficult.Continue reading
In my review of Sunil Gangopadhyay’s short stories, I had remarked about their having no plot. Still, I am particularly impressed by his narrative and description. With very little glamour and paraphernalia, he is able to present complete, simply narrated and deep stories. When the description itself is simplified, without exaggerated emotions or figures of speech, the readers are let free to discover and explore all the underlying emotions on their own. Another characteristic I am noticing with every new reading of Sunil Gangopadhyay is that he does not shy away from expressing thoughts, biases or emotions — however ugly or socially unacceptable they might be. He considers them, accepts and acknowledges them as a matter of fact, neither boasting nor feeling shy or ashamed of them. In other words, he accepts strengths as well as weaknesses of humans, but neither supports them nor opposes them. This helps him in looking at every thought, problem or idea from different perspectives, most of which are unbiased, thus providing a balanced comprehension.Continue reading
I have reviewed a book by Sunil Gangopadhyay earlier on this blog. It was the first volume of his three-volume collection of short stories. In that post, I had mentioned characteristics of Sunil’s writing style. Also, my analysis of his interpretation of Who Broke Kanishka’s Head continues to be the most read article on my blog. Recently I had an opportunity to read a short novel by him titled Khela, and would share its narrative and my opinion with you.Continue reading
For last couple of years, I have been reading Galpa Samagra, a collection of short stories by Sunil Gangopadhyay. Let me start by mentioning that Sunil always described himself as a poet first, and considered rest of his skills or occupations as secondary. But honestly speaking, I do not understand poetry — neither by Sunil nor by anybody else. My foray is short stories, and I am happy with them. Continue reading
In a story published in Bengali magazine Anandamela, a child used to boast about the various precious items in his grandfather’s house. His friend remarked, ‘Who knows, if he searches carefully, he may even find Kanishka’s head!’
Kanishka’s head — one of the several unsolved problems in Indian history. I hesitate in calling it a ‘mystery’ because there is no mysterious element or secrecy as such. So if you are expecting something sensational, you might be disappointed. The problem is a very simple one, and is most probably due to missing links and lost history. Some day someone may find valuable information that would bring the missing pieces together and complete the picture. Till then, we would have to wait.