I am deviating from the standard template of reviewing business , leadership, management, self-help, psychology,.. and want to share about four interesting books that I read that does not fall into the usual genre. Frankly I needed a break from overload of the above categories.
One is Aavarana (The Veil) by SL Bhyrappa and translated to English by Sandeep Balakrishna. Unfortunately while I can understand and get away with speaking Kannada, I cannot read. The translation was so impactful, that I was left wondering, how powerful the original writing would have been. There are simply words that you just cannot translate enough. You hit a bottleneck with English. This is a hard hitting book about one woman’s fight to establish the truth and the challenges she faces from every corner.
The next one is If I only had time, yet again a translation. The original is from the Slovenian Author Evald Filsar and translation is done by David Limon. This book is an engaging philosophical journey of the protagonist who figures at the age of 22 , he has only one year to live. The indirect questions that are posed to us by the author are difficult and inconvenient !
The other one Uttara: The book of Answers translated by Dr. Arshia Sattar was also a fascinating read. I have always wondered why the great Lord Rama is always troubled and sometimes I felt though his rule was considered great, was he really ‘Happy’ inside ? Also, the perspective of divine Sita’s ordeal is summarized brilliantly and sometimes I feel we do not get to see these view points in the standard narrative that has been delivered to us over the years. This book as the title says, answers all the loop holes in Ramayana.
Though I read it a year back, I see The seasons of Trouble by Rohini Mohan is another powerful narrative about the civil war in Sri Lanka. It is not easy to write a book about war amidst the people who are experiencing it. The author does a wonderful job of holding the narrative without being influenced by the war torn surroundings and still manages to take us into that surroundings and lives of the individuals that she writes about. This is one brilliant piece of writing.
If you were to choose a reading order, I would recommend the following
- Seasons of Trouble
- If I only had time
In my view a author is successful if they manage us to get think about the book long after we have closed them.
All these books will do that to you.
May be a good set to carry with you during your well deserved summer break. The way I see it, this summer is going to break us.
Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)