Monday, 10 February 2014

Review: My Kind of Girl by Buddhadeva Bose.



Book: My Kind of Girl

Author: Buddhadeva Bose

Pages: 124

How Long it Took Me to Read: An hour..or something along those lines.

Plot Summary: A modern-day Bengali Decameron, My Kind of Girl is a sensitive and vibrant novella containing four disarming accounts of unrequited love. In a railway station one bleak December night, four strangers from different walks of life —a contractor, a government bureaucrat, a writer, and a doctor—face an overnight delay. The sight of a young loving couple prompts them to reflect on and share with each other their own experiences of the vagaries of the human heart in a story cycle that is in turn melancholy, playful, wise, and heart-wrenching. The tales reveal each traveler's inner landscape and provide an illuminating glimpse into contemporary life in India. Coming out of a great storytelling tradition, My Kind of Girl is a moving and imaginative look at love from one of India's most celebrated writers.

General Thoughts and Review: Bengali is my mother tongue and even though I speak it well, I don't read or write in Bengali. This means a lot of literature of Bengal remains lost to me. Translation then is my only bet in reading some of the books I've heard family and friends talk about. 

I've read a bit of the classics- Saratchandra, Tagore and Bankim Chandra but the modern writers were not something I had gotten around to reading. Last year, I read a little of Sunil Ganguly and really enjoyed it. I asked my dad for some other recommendations and Buddhadeva Bose came up a few times. So when I saw some of his books pop up on Flipkart I went a little nuts and got 3 of his books! 

I started with this one, because it was tiny and beautiful. Cloth bound and floral and golden edged pages. This book was to start with a visual delight! And it was a collection of four love stories told over a night of of bonding. It was a great place to start reading a new author and I really loved this book and highly recommend it. In fact, once I finished it, I made my sister read it immediately. 

The four stories are really different and cover a gamut of emotions. There is first love, one-sided love, a marriage that comes about in a unique way and a really sweet story of three friends in love with one neighborhood girl! Simple, heart-warming and genuinely sweet, these stories are perfect and great to read this time of year- Valentine's Day- but even if you aren't all hopped up on the V-Day madness, this book is a sweet little and very well-written and translated piece of work. 

I pretty much liked all the stories equally, which in itself is pretty amazing thing. 

The characters are well etched out and even the way in which the stories are shared is pretty natural and not forced. 

I really recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a light, happy, bittersweet tales of love. 

Rating: 5/5 

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