Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Householder by Amitabha Bagchi

Last time when I read him, some 4 years ago, it was his straight forwardness about expressing his stories in a very Indian-ized  manner, that I had particularly. Quite similar has been a case here too. Then, with Above Average, I was growing up in College and now with The Householder I am growing up with a Job (so to say) and in both the times I have related with his views, connotations and musings owing to two different periods. 

A story about a Middle Class
 Indian family
under the 5th Pay Commission
Here in The Householder (a perfect title) a story of man who works as an assistant to an IAS officer, him being a Govt official too, imbibed within which are another three stories about the members of his family, juggling and changing in between each other in this contemplative narrative. The limits to which a person's restraints and desires can be stretched and tested under the constraints of values and family liabilities can be heartfelt here. It will resonate with anyone who has worked/lived under the ambit of Govt culture, in particular. The way it juggles in between the past, present and among the different characters will keep the reader engaged in the fast paced presentation. 

However, the endings for the characters of Kamaljeet and Praveen could have slightly better. Praveen, who throughout the book was shown to be in need of guidance, support and a better job was, in the end simply overlooked for his grave if not heinous acts by the family. Similarly with Pinky being so emotionally carried away by the pursuance of Kamaljeet simply dint do the justice with her last act. Or perhaps, Bagchi wanted to focus more on Naresh
Above all, a book worth spending 8-10 hours on. 

Rating: 6.5/10

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