Saturday, 19 July 2014

Silver Haze by Pankaj Varma: a review

Silver Haze is one book which doesn’t attract readers through its cover. No, it doesn’t have any over powering cover with bright colors; not does it have any ‘magnetic’ name to attract the readers to itself; yet it has some effect on the readers. It has something, as the result of which people would go for the book.

The blurb also doesn’t say much about the book; but maybe the simplicity attracted me towards it; to quote it “I have always accepted what was expected of me all my life” “I try to recollect when I had chicken served in a wedding. Suddenly I remember- it was my own wedding years ago!” All these lines are able stir all the emotions kept deep inside a person.

Coming to the story, can anyone tell me what he/she would feel when one day; late in your age you are diagnosed with irrecoverable dementia? The story is of one such patient. It’s about Neeru Sharma! No it’s about Kamala Puri. It’s about a journey of self-discovery, (if I may term it that). It is a real life story which deserves hats off.

The book starts off when the protagonist is diagnosed with Dementia and she sits thinking that she will make the most out of what she remembers. The way the whole book is described, makes the reader go fully into the book. The readers can feel how the book goes from the day of the protagonists’ marriage, to current day.

The story also moves along with the time of the situations of North India during the time of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. The commotion happening outside the house of the main protagonist clearly has its reflection on the story and that has its own essence.

Etching characters of such a big family would’ve been tough for the writer but keeping every character distinct yet emphasizing every character is a job well done by the writer. For odd reasons, I could connect to every character as if it were me.

The uphill climb of the story leaves a very lasting impression on every reader. Somehow I felt that even with every element of the story, something was amiss. Apart from that, a better presentation could’ve made this book a wonder. Keeping in mind, that the book is the author’s debut book published by himself, and the book is a wonderful book, I would rate it a 4.25 out of 5.

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