Do I need to review this book? Can I do justice to such brilliant writing by writing a simple review about it? Both these questions are bothering me right now as well when I am typing these words. And probably that’s the reason that I read The Lowland thrice before I gathered enough words to write about it. It has happened with me once or twice in the past that I had to read a book multiple times to write something about it. The kind of accolades that The Lowland has won all across the globe are something that almost everyone who reads is aware of, at least I assume so.
Udayan and Subhash Mitra, brothers, partners in crime are the protagonists of the book and The Lowland is about the special bond that they share. The book opens in the Calcutta of 1960s and a slow and powerful narrative pushes a reader hard enough to go deeper and understand the hidden emotions in each of the word that he/she reads. The story keeps moving forward at its pace but keeps coming to back to the Calcutta of 1960s and a marshy land between two ponds in a neighbour of Calcutta where two very close brothers grow up, which is called The Lowland.
As the time passes, Udayan and Subhash go in different directions. Udayan gets involved in the maoist political movement and Subhash goes to US for higher studies. Udayan tries his level best to influence Subhash and his ideologies join the naxalite movement but Subhash is well aware of his duties as a son and works towards it. As the story progresses, Udayan marries Gauri and informs Subhash through a letter saying that the reason why he married Gauri was simple, She prefers books to jewels and saris. She believes as he does.
Everything changes for Subhash when one day he receives the news that Udayan is no more. He leaves everything aside and comes back to Tollygunge to comfort his helpless and horrified parents and Gauri who is now with a child. It is Gauri who will reveal more and more to a reader as the book progresses, baring her own secrets, with Udayan’s to follow in his own remembered time.
Jhumpa Lahiri has painted everything vividly through her words, be its the Calcutta of 1960s or life in American back then. Human relationships, emotions and the complexities of them have been imbibed in the story in their purest form and this story will remain in your heart for quite some time. Filled with sharp insights about marriage and parenthood, politics and commitment, The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri deserves to read not once but many times till a reader is satisfied enough with what the book has got to offer.
Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : Random House India
Genre : Literary Fiction
Price : Rs. 499/-