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Book Review: Love in Siesta by Avik Gangopadhyay

Love in Siesta by Avik Gangopadhyay offers a different set of short stories. Throughout the anthology, which consists of eight stories, the author has tried to delve deep into some terrific and profound human feelings and traits that are often associated with love, lust, betrayal, and passion.

Some of the stories have primitive backdrop, the days of clan and tribe, but love was everywhere, and at all times. This collection strongly points out that love is not a modern theme, ever since the humans have gained access to their feelings, love and passion have been consistently driving their desires. Love is the strongest desire a human can ever have. It will be wrong to say that only love is the strongest feeling – however as you read initial stories, like ‘The Lost Yearn from the Charnel House’ and ‘The Primeval Lust’ – it evidently becomes clear that for the possession of the love a lover can go to any extent of zenith and nadir.

These stories are not that we get to listen now and then, from movies or grandma. However, the collection presents a queer amalgamation of feelings that humans often grapple with whenever love and lust confront them. Clearly, the stories transcend the common barriers of short storytelling – rather they are high on experimentation and manage to provide a different aroma of delight to the readers.

The cover and the title of the book is way difficult to comprehend. However, a close look at the title reveal that wherever there is love, there ought to be betrayal. Probably, love isn’t that simple game. Look at Verases and Sanaf in the story, ‘The Amoral Incests’. In that story, it becomes difficult as who was betraying who. But Sanaf’s betrayal was aligned with good intentions. However, Verases was trying to have the natural share of love for that captive girl Rutra. More or less, the story also tried to portray that love ought to go through the time testing. Despite all, the shocking revelation was that Verases referred Sanaf as sister. Maybe in some time or in some part of the world, marriage among brother and sister was allowed as a mandatory ritual.

There is something unspoken about this collection, which keeps it apart from stereotype storytelling. All the stories are engaging and easy to read, yet tough to comprehend the underlying themes. As a reader, you need to re-read some stories. Avik has a charming way to narrate stories, with measured precision for credible characterization. Literature lovers will definitely love this collection.


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