Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Lowland

So many thoughts swirled in and out of my head when I embarked upon a start to finish campaign of Jhumpa Lahiri's , "The Lowland" today. My first reaction to it when I received the book was that it's color was so appealing - green, full of life and brimming with promise, flush and radiant, hopeful and benign. Not the green you see on leaves when it rains nor that which covers a parrot but that of a green in transition from one serious tone to another, that of fresh grass at its radiant best. I couldn't read it for two days after I set my eyes upon it but today I resolved that even a headache wouldn't take me away from it.

Was it the best book I've ever read, of course not. Did it reach out to me like the aching loneliness of "The Namesake" no it did not. Did I unearth some life changing truth from it, no such thing happened. Then why have I been so captivated by it? In the initial stages when two love stories bloom, I found myself pacing restlessly eager to know how they turn out to be, when a character floundered on his way to receive love which was rightfully his I rooted for him and when finally an exile ended I was soaked with peace.

I realized that the reason it appealed to me was that the scale it was set was so appealing. It didn't harp on a happy ending or a bad one, it basically allowed the ebb and flow of life to be captured so lyrically that it was hard not to be drawn to it. Jhumpa's writing has a clear, evocative style to emote, one that rises from the book and wraps itself around you. You cannot but be a part of her writing, you transcend from being a mere reader to a pivotal character, at least in both the aforementioned books.

Nothing beats the pleasure of a good story reaching its deserved destination. That it lives up to deliver what it promised is as much a joy as the act of reading itself. It leaves you satisfied, making you feel satiated as after a  hearty meal, a hungered conversation or a herculean act of facing what you always dreaded. Till the next one comes along, of course...

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