The Momentby Aniruddha Bose
, Translated by Partha Pratim Roy
This is the story of another world.
How do we understand the concept of time? This novel has brought out a supernatural message from time's internal cave. It is nothing new for two persons to be attracted to each other. This novel sees this oft-played game from an entirely new perspective. Is love and desire the same? Can these two be put in the same paradigm of understanding? Or is there a thin line, which delineates them apart and yet, so close?
Each of us accepts our own perception of the truth. Some would say love is abstract, while desire is concrete. Is it so? Desire could also be abstract. Why do we love someone? Can it be explained by the theories of chemistry? Science has given a clinical definition. The key lies in certain hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain. Is life science the best alternative to our understanding of this? If that were so, the beauty of love gets lost in the ravages of misconceptions. The two protagonists in this story are searching for that elusive answer, while finding themselves in a supernatural cusp of time. It is that cusp which is known in science as Vertical Time. Or in our philosophy as ‘Turiya’ postulated in the Upanishads. This is where time stands still and veers away from the well-known path of horizontal movement.
In the light and darkness of the maze, we know as past and present, they seem to throw the two characters in this novel into their own subconscious, and titillate them to play the game of love in surreal time.
Where does this game end? Will it end, where time gets lost in the realm of the supernatural? Or will it ultimately find it’s calling in their minds and in their memories?
When you see a book of small size and less pages, you become quite skeptic if it would be able to deliver the package in its small story that will add enough value to impress you. I had the same doubt when I picked "The Moment" originally written by Aniruddha Bose in Bengali but translated in English by Partha Pratim Roy. It is often said that never read a book in a translated language as the literary value gets compromised as only the structure of the story remains but no soul. Both these myths had got busted with the completion of this novel. In its 160 pages only, the book has been able to deliver a great literary value in form of letters between two protagonists.
Initially, in the first 10 pages, it was difficult to get in flow with the superlative language but as you proceed, the narration makes it easy for you to read the book. The translation is wonderfully done which makes you realize how good this book would be in its original form. The philosophies and little bit of spirituality adds to the content of the story. There are many knowledgeable sections too which talks of pure science. When you are left with just 10-20 pages, you start feeling bad as you want the story to keep flowing. The treatment given to the story is surreal and like a poetry which just does not let you take a break while reading. And this is when there's not a single poetry, poem or prose in the book. Kudos!
Through the two characters, author has beautifully portrays how a human being finally breaks all his confinement to go through something which he never believes he would be able to. The characters were feeling suffocated in their marital relationship which made them go beyond the rekha defined by society and commit everything they considered sin few hours ago. It also describes perfectly the internal guilt that the characters are going through while breaking the barriers of their custom. With just two characters, author has been able to portray the status quo of the society and its naked reality.
The climax is just great when you realize how author has been able to create 160 pages over a moment. That makes you realize the brilliance of the author and not even once while reading the chapters do you guess that the story is based on a moment which takes place between the protagonist. The only drawback of the over-all package of this book is its pricing i.e. Rs. 250/-. A reader would resist to pay more than a rupee/page if he is not too much fond of the literature. If you have loved reading classics and Kolkata's gem, then you won't think twice before having this book in your shelf. I give this book 4* out of 5.
-by Abhilash Ruhela
The Moment, by Aniruddha Bose in English by Partha Pratim Roy is a book of eternal love, one that overcomes all barriers and all boundaries, even that impassable between heaven and earth, and is not impossible for the hearts that we truly believe where life, death, time and difficulties cannot divide the destinies and souls.
On this narrative line, the book ventures into this world sacrilegious, cruel, causing suffering to those who inhabit it, and the authors writing guarantees results that attenuate the harrowing tale through a concrete narrative with the style clear, linear and modern that portrays the story with lightness and intensity, to include in a short novel a long story that transcends time and space.
In the novel, real human love carnal, passionate, joins a higher love, to deal with the difficulties, fight and overcome the forces that goes beyond and which are, therefore, intended to be hounded by powers operating with the aim to divide them and punish them for their transgression with the work flows quickly and catapults the reader into the mind of disbelief and shock causing them to suffer and, then, causing them to hope that everything will be resolved.
It happens that touches the life of someone, you fall in love and decide that the most important thing is to touch it, live it with the melancholy and worries, and get to recognize yourself in the gaze of the other, to feel that you cannot do without and what if you have to wait for months and days including nights.
An original novel which shows the intense taste for bodied narrative, intense, tangible, in whose descriptions of people, colours and smells assumes a real dimension with the words are transformed into emotions and is the feeling that the unreal becomes concrete substance, accompanying, just like a shadow, the life of the protagonists.
The power of true love does not accept rules with the author was able to create a book of overwhelming passion and, creating a perfect alchemy between words and the reader, to the point that you cannot help but read and love the characters where the undisputed protagonist is the feeling, the real one, contrasted, able to question every certainty..
The characters live in social and cultural conditions that could only divide even if the separation characterized by choices imposed or desired, allow them to know and recognize right through the route taken with love upsets so much life to change forever the course, goals, thoughts and is physical, clear, passionate love described by the author.
It is initially a feeling of youth and later, in the last part of the book, an alienating senile affection, where between these poles, there is the life of the protagonists, lived according to very different paths, the one away from the other, always incomplete, all described with a unique style, sometimes elegant, sometimes passionate, where you can almost perceive the smells and the tastes.
It is a story of love, courage, hope and expectation a wait which is answered, only to the will of a man and woman who has never stopped to fight for the only thing in the world that had a meaning that they love despite everything.
Love, with all its facets, is the protagonist of these pages, that move the story, and the reader is involved in the story where every detail has been attended to capture interest from the first pages where time and love are linked by a thin and weak line with the first more often prevail than the second, but in this short novel is the strength of feeling to win against any law and dominate.
And that's how the characters will be etched forever in the memory of readers and among the most beautiful pages of the book just like a dance chase, feel, love, lost, left with the fear of being infected by a disease that knows no cure, no way out, that kind of love that does not like limits, or protocols to be followed, a love that defies time.
A hymn to timeless love, the courage to believe that after all it would be enough to fight to get what they ardently desire in just a space of time, nothing more but a space filled with hope.