Book review – Love in Siesta by Kunal Roy

Name of the Book: Love in Siesta( A Collection of short stories)
Name of the author: Avik Gangopadhyay.
Format: Paperback
Price: Rs200( Indian Currency)
Publishers: Xpress Publication and Avant Garde production.

In the field of art and literature, short stories have always played a key role in the matter of imparting information blended with entertainment. And it is surprising to note that it is the most favourite area among the true book lovers, as often they do not find enough time to spend on a long piece of work. They completely look for something which can be completed in a single sitting without sacrificing the taste or the quality of the work.
Mr Avik Gangopadhyay, an author of international fame and honour has digressed from his domain this time. Realising the needs and the preferences of the present class of audience, the author has brought out a lovely collection of eight short stories, named “Love in Siesta”. At the very outset the title of the collection appears to be multi layered in its meaning and interpretation. And quite naturally, the love that perhaps manages to blossom in the afternoon makes the readers think twice on the real significance of the collection. On the other hand the cover of the book is a bit thought provoking as the intensity of love is measured through a skeleton couple who are in their perfect posture of intimacy! There is no room of doubt that it is rich in symbolism, trying to unfold the ‘naked’ truth of love on a different plane of human existence.

The present book under review is a collection of short stories, portraying the different dimensions of human love. The vivid description of the nature seems to find a different expression as the love which seeks revenge, discovers a sense of solace in some other arm, yet longs for the previous one. This is a very common trait of human psychology as the past always remains clung to us , no matter how much comfortable the present scenario is! Moreover, the motto of lust has been dealt with a few pieces here, reminding one thing time and again that love and lust are diametrically opposite poles. Lust is simply an issue of blood, but not love in itself. True love is always for the sake of love and not exactly an ephemeral phenomenon like that of the physical needs and desires which eventually disappear after the course of action is completed with a touch of gratification! To continue with the variety, the talks on the Kings and Queens are equally emphasized. One could easily visualise the fears and apprehensions that the rulers of those days underwent. The ambience created in this whole attempt is surreal here. However, the collection comes to its full circle with the contemporary creation. The author has asserted the factors of love, betrayal , separation and above all an indomitable desire to get back one’s partner with whom he or she has no such bond at this very hour. A turmoil is bred as the battle is ensued between the heart and mind. But needless to utter the instincts always rule the roost! Flawlessly, the book spans between the modern context and the one depicted long before civilization has made its appearance. A classic amalgamation of the enlightened dawn, thousands of years ago and its tale of temptation and the life and style of the contemporary age!

It is pretty interesting to note that besides the general characterisation , the author has introduced a first person narrative technique, taking us back to a few novels of the Victorian age. However, the characters are few, interesting and round. They change as the plot moves ahead and are highly adaptable with the course of action as it manages to create a lot of twists and turns in the whole game! Further, the narration is simple, encouraging the average readers to enjoy every bit of it. The language is lucid, easy flowing and there is no such literary term which can put a reader into difficulty as he or she moves from one page to another. The style is unique and caters a different taste to the readers. Infact the brevity of expressions ,thoughts and an open ending for encouraging the readers’ imagination have taken the collection to a different height of contemporary literature.

” Love in Siesta” (A Collection of Short Stories) has essayed to make an odyssey into the deep realms of human consciousness. The author has triumphantly created such moments where the readers can find themselves at one with the characters. Love, the four lettered word has its root deep in our mind, despite being a very tender emotion of our soul. It is precious but never promises to stay in our heart forever. The book captures every subtle moment which love passes through! And last but not the least, it is often heard the “flower love blooms in the morning and sets in the evening”, but this love that nurtures itself in the afternoon will continue to inspire without any second thought! A must read for all book lovers!!
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