Book Review: Atosh Kach, an anthology of Bengali short stories
“Atosh Kach” is a recently published anthology of fifteen Bengali short stories written by Subrata Bhattacharya.
Each of these stories have been woven with so much emotion and love that the readers will be left awed by the expertise of the author.
Let’s discuss a little bit about my favourite stories in the book.
The first story would be, “Golper Chchole”.
In this story we have a young entrepreneur who is trying to start a new division in their publishing house all by herself. Besides this, she is also a caring girlfriend who is constantly on the lookout for great stories that can be turned into scripts for her boyfriend, who is a film maker by profession. In this process, she comes across a book that seems to have some personal connections with her family. Unable to contain her curiosity she sets out on a mission to search the enigmatic author and what she discovers in the end may not change her life in her anyway, but it definitely changes something inside her heart, it teaches her something about the vulnerability of life.
This story is beautiful, not because it has some great morals or some great characters. It is the art of storytelling that makes this story a standout piece for me. The revelation that comes in the end of this story is startling and sobering all at once.
The second story that I would like to discuss here is “Chchondo”, undoubtedly, the best story of the anthology.
This is a love story between a dancer and a tabla player. Yes, love can be of all sorts, but the way the love story develops here is awe-inspiring and honestly, it just makes you ache for a relationship this pure and this true, because how many people are lucky enough to get connections like these?
This is a fairy tale told in the backdrop of a harsh and real society. Yes, true relationship is way beyond physicality. It is about respecting and being respected.
The other story that is remarkable is “Obohelito o Oporiharjo”.
In this story we get a young girl who develops a deep bonding with her father’s employee. After all, you never know where you find your true friends. The man accepts the little girl as his own daughter. Everything is lovely in the family, but what secrets is the man hiding from his adopted family? What lies behind him? The girl grows up slowly to go missing from home one day, but her uncle is confident that he can bring her back. The uncle succeeds, but part of his past comes back with the girl. Again, superb writing skills and an excellent plot.
Authors like Bhattacharya and books like these make readers like us hopeful about the future of Bengali literature.
(Reviewed by Priya Das)