I received the book A Thousand Unspoken Words by Paulami Dutta Gupta as a review copy from the publisher and I would like to thank the author, publisher and The Book Club for the same. The story is set in Kolkata, Darjeeling and Shantiniketan.
The blurb (from Goodreads):
A hero, a person who displays great courage for the greater good, can also fall. But what happens to a fallen hero? A Thousand Unspoken Words is the unique journey of a hero who falls.
The champion of the underdogs, the writer who uses the nom de plume Musafir is famous in Kolkata. His incisive criticism of the injustices around him earn him many enemies but he holds his ideals above all else. Scathing attacks at his books and a night of hide and seek from political goons leads Musafir unto a path he never liked, faraway from his ideals. He runs away and chooses the comforts of money over the travails of following one’s ideals. The hero falls.
But Tilottama, passionate fan’s hopes don’t. When he comes back after many years, emotions, love and lust take charge and an affair brews. Will she bring back her hero? Will he rise again? Or will the thousand untold words, the many stories of the ideal writer be lost forever?
Tilottama Sen, the daughter of a tea garden owner in Darjeeling, is attending a course on human rights and also indulges in some serious blogging from time to time. She stays alone in her flat. Musafir is her favourite author; she has read his books so many times that she can quote with the exact page numbers. One night, it is raining heavily, and she hears a knock and she opens the door to find Riddhimaan standing outside, scared, because he feels the people chasing him will kill him. She gives him shelter and food, takes care of his injury and he goes away the next day but not before criticizing Musafir. And one day, she receives a package which contained a book, a paperback, Musafir’s Lockout’ signed ‘With regards, Musafir’. The book also has a note which says,
Thank you for giving me shelter that night. I am sorry, I should have written back to you earlier. But you know I didn’t have an option. I had to leave this city. Not many would do what you did for me. It is also flattering to know that a beautiful woman adores Musafir. That leaves me with a happy thought. I will write to you whenever possible.
P.S—This is not a rude joke. You will find out in a week.’
Now, seven years later, Tilottama is working at an NGO Stree, run by Riddhiman’s mother, Krishnakoli. The two ladies have developed a very close bond. One day, the guard tells her that a filmstar is coming back, and hence there is a crowd outside the house. Tillotama realizes that the VIP is none other than Riddhiman, who is now a famous author with no trace of Musafir in him. At first, they meet as strangers and then slowly get attracted to each other and get married.
Does the story end happily ever after or is there more to it? Read it to find out.
Where do I start???
The story is simple and the language is easy to follow. The flow is good and makes the story fast paced. The author has touched a lot of current issues. The author has described many scenes in detail making me easy to picturise them. there are many twists in the story, once I felt that, now things fall in place, the story would turn suddenly. At certain points in the story, I felt that I was watching a movie.
The characters are very realistic, very true to life and very well developed. All the characters, even the supportive ones have a substantial role to play in the story. The friendship between Krishnakoli and Tilottama, the relationship between the mother and sons and also between the father and the daughter has been beautifully described. The cute, friendly banter between the brothers was very realistic.
The story has a lot many emotions: Love, betrayal, friendship, forgiveness and fights. I felt for Tillotama, she was confused forced to choose between Riddhiman, the materialist and Musafir, the idealist.
The story goes deep, leaves a long lasting impression on the reader. Me, I was left wanting for more. I am eagerly waiting for a sequel.
A must read for everyone.
Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.