Skip to main content

Book Review: The Ghat of the Only World by Amitav Ghosh

It is a serious story about friendship and commitment one friend has to fulfill after one friend’s death. The story is about friendship between the writer Amitav Ghosh and the poet Agha Shahid Ali. Though they met not so long before, but their bonding seems as they are friends since childhood. Some friendships may not last long but the impact they cast on one another may transcend all worldly barriers.

Shahid Ali and Amitav both live in neighborhood in Manhattan, USA. Though Amitav knows Shahid since his college days, as both were students in Delhi University, but their friendship occurred a few months ago through a common friend. Shahid is a powerful poet from the land of Kashmir, his collection of poems The Country Without a Post Office (published in 1997) have had a deep impact on Amitav. Once Amitav used a line or two from his collection in an article for newspaper.

It is 25 April 2001 that Shahid confirms the news of his impending death due to brain tumor. In that meeting Shahid urges Amitav to write a story on him after his death. Amitav agrees to do that and after that whenever he meets Shahid, Amitav takes notes in a notebook.

Amitav describes that Shahid being a Kashmiri was a different kind of person. He wasn’t a religious fanatic; instead he built a small temple in his house. Not only this, Shahid and Amitav had many things in common, for instance cooking and some peculiar non-veg dishes. Though Shahid lives in USA but his heart resides in Kashmir where his parents live. He used to go there in summer to spend time with his parents. His wished to be dead in his homeland i.e. Kashmir. He seemed firm on it but later as it takes a lot of formalities and paperback, he gives up the idea of moving to Kashmir to spend his last days.

He expresses that he sees in his sleep and imagination that he is flying over the Ghat of the Only World i.e. Kashmir.

After Shahid’s death, Amitav feels that their friendship lasted briefly but its impact was vast and somewhere deep down in his heart it makes him void.

In the story, The Ghat of the Only World represents Shahid’s homeland Kashmir.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Poem Summary: Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Short Summary: This poem is written by Rabindranath Tagore during pre-independence days, when India was a colony of the British. The underlying theme of the poem is absolute freedom; the poet wants the citizens of his country to be living in a free state. According to the poem, we see that the poet is expressing his views there should be a country, like where people live without any sort of fear and with pure dignity…they should

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming. This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them well-groomed and rich. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella. The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation fo

Poem Summary: Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias is a short poem of fourteen lines written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The concurrent theme of the poem is that nothing remains intact and same forever in this world. Even the brightest of metal, one day decays with passage of time. The throne name of Egyptian King Ramesses is Ozymandias. It was his dearest desire to preserve himself forever by building a huge statue that he thought would never tumble down. Stanza 1: I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; Summary: The poet narrates the poem through the eyes of a traveler who seems to have come back from a remote and far-away land, referring to Egypt. The traveler r