Skip to main content

Book Review: The Winter Song by Saurav Dutt

The Winter Song by Saurav Dutt is a brilliant slow burn novel that seeks the fragility of human relationships after death of loved ones. The novel is part melancholic drama, part memoir, and of course spiritual journey of a man who sees his life wasted under the aegis of hollow ideologies. Unlike romance or contemporary novels, this one is way different in its pace and approach. It crawls at a slow speed and demands patience from the readers. Those who have read Mr. Dutt in ‘Dear Mr. Bachchan’ or ‘The Butterfly Room’ – will find this novel way offbeat than its usual charm.

The novel is mainly about family drama, value, allegiance, faith, love in marriage – but surprisingly the author did all with a fewer characters. The writing style is sober and subtle. Set in the Himalayan region of North India, the novel introduces us to John Perera – a man from different religion and culture – but settled in the snow and mist of Shimla with his love of life, his wife Asima.

Mostly emotionally draining and melancholic and at times brimming with sadness, the novel explores as what it is like to lose loved members of family. John is the central character in the novel. Once Asima (his wife) told him to do something great and big for her love, well, then he didn’t heed. Once she passes away, John feels the void of emptiness within him. He takes a vow to honour his wife by taking a long walk of around 90 miles from Shimla to the Spiti Valley where she first prayed for a wonderful husband.

Their love has been insipid and diffident and the couple was not on talking terms for long. To add the agony, their only son Jimmy died at the age of 32. He was not an ideal son to them. He wasted his life in drugs i.e. consuming and selling hashish. He died too young that too like a wretched dog. His death was a shattering point in their lives. The couple turned absolutely cold and their sub-audition grew cold and something good about them faded away eventually.

As John walks alone in the chilling cold of the Himalayan routes, his past never leaves him. Bittersweet memories and regrets and much more keep chasing him. Despite that seething and sinking feeling, he keeps moving to discover the faith that keeps love intact and midway he grew curious to know whether his son died of his own or some drug mafia or peddler killed him. On route, he stumbles upon some people, who in return, strengthen his motto of this journey. Tuffnel, Sita, and that old dying man – it all becomes cold yet riveting. The novel sounds like a saga of one man in search of more than just truth.

Telling a story with fine subtleties of back stories of old days and glory of good days, the author balances it brilliantly with the current feelings. Suarav Dutt is a fine storyteller, the way he picks up feelings and regrets to paint pictures of unspeakable pain is superb yet a little embarrassing. One might take time to read the book, but it is worth, and for sure it is going to linger long with the readers. From culture to life values to nature description, the novel comes alive with vivid description. All in all, a great novel of its own taste.

Buy from Amazon.


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