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Book Review: The Third by Amar B. Singh

The Third by Amar Singh is a thought-provoking work of fiction, with strong doses of philosophy and spirituality. At large, through the concerning voice of Aryan, the book delves into the deep-rooted, rusted patterns of our society. The Indian society gives an impression of a united fa├žade; however, deep within it is fragmented and programmed in not-so-rational way. As an individual, either one conforms to the protocols and patterns of the society, or turn out to be an outlaw. But both circumstances assure no substantial peace.

Aryan is the protagonist of the novel. He is seen into a pattern called life. The novel covers his major live events until he supposedly dies at the age of 45. But the question is, was he happy and a well fit in that? May be or may be not? Aryan is a special child – he has unspoken challenges and questions for the society. Paradoxically, is the society in which he lives and falls back capable of clarifying his doubts? Read on the book to know his tussle with his thoughts and the lineage he undergoes in his life?

The title ‘The Third’ means – the third person other than mind and body. The author has presented this newfound concept of the third voice. Often, people frame themselves according to their mind and body, that is their A to Z. They start at that and end there. Will they be able to see themselves differently if they fail to come out of that illusion of mind and body? Here, Aryan attempt doing everything right to fit well in a career and life with a right sense of mind and body. But did he succeed in his endeavors? The story with cross questions and alluded allegations become interesting when Aryan seems all set for his quest in cities like Mumbai and Jamshedpur.

In this novel of around 120 pages, through Aryan we see the rite of passage that a human being goes through i.e. marriage of his sister, the dowry pressure, career move after engineering, his crumbling ancestral history, classification of caste and religion as a parameter for promotion and marriage. There are various aspects of life that one can understand through this short novel, which otherwise goes unspoken.

Towards the end, the novel becomes intense and high on spirituality and philosophical discovery, the death scene of Aryan manages to create suspense element but it held an unexpected turn. The novel is somewhat plain but conveys great message about this one life – either live it or explore it. Both ways, it’s painful. The author has great narration skills, with good usage of language and vocabulary. As a reader, you may feel the anguish of an individual trying to be real in the procession of lineage and societal stratum.


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