Monday, August 27, 2007

Buckle Down Yourself

I should say it was a mega shopping day for me and for the first time in my life I had grabbed so many books in such a short span of time-the count being 15 in 15 mins. I randomly picked “Homecoming” by Taslima Nasreen and I couldn’t resist myself from reading it. Being a very simple book with just 120 pages, it embraces a life in it. I just couldn’t hold back myself about this amazing book I had read.

Kalyani, the heroin of the novel leaves her home town [Mymensingha, Bangladesh] unwillingly, for survival. She comes to a different country [Kolkata, India] and never feels at home. In spite of her detachment, she had to pursue her life in this new land, where she gets a chance to go back to her place after a period of more than 30 years. During her visit she realizes that her homeland had existed merely in her thoughts and not in reality. The author brings out the fate of millions of people who have left their country for another and got lost belonging to neither. Reading through the pages, I was able to feel Kalyani and it brings an unknown burden in the hearts of the readers.

In spite of everyone teasing Kalyani about the accent she carried from her hometown, she always felt proud of it and she keeps emphasizing the beauty of her country-the Brahamaputra River, friendly people in the neighborhood, the land where she had met her first love and people like her friend Sharifa who had fallen on the ground and cried when she had left. She had told heaps of stories to her kids and had even fought with her husband flaunting about her country.

When she visits her country she completely feels out of place, though she knew she’s in the right place- where she wanted to be for the past 30 years. She's taken aback when she finds that even her best childhood friend acts like a stranger.

Kalyani looked longingly at Sharifa; averting her eyes, Sharifa sat quietly. Kalyani looked at her arms, clasped in heavy gold bracelets. She had gone to the riverside holding those hands once. Kalyani thought, transported to the past

The above lines are simple yet very cogent reflecting Kalyani’s longing for the love from her friend. One day, she lets her son play with the kids on the roads to get the aura she had enjoyed during her childhood. When he comes back she enquires about the game they were playing and gets humiliated listening to his answer.

What sort of game is that-I’ve never heard of anyone playing with ants.

The ants were moving in a line up the wall, they were crushing the red ones, letting the black ones go free. When I asked why they were doing that, they said it was because the black ones were Muslims, the red the Hindus.

Kalyani shivered uncontrollably

Facing all kinds of awful situations she thinks back about her love.

He had said ‘I can’t live without you’……Everyone says this at one time or another and continues to live. Life doesn’t come to a standstill because another person is not there. … might not want to have anything to do with someone you had previously thought indispensable

It is a blind fact that everyone should accept, are accepting and will accept. No one’s life stops with the absence of some other person, be it one’s own father or mother or brother. A hard truth to digest!!!!

The excerpts from the book have been mentioned here to give you the true essence. I personally feel that this book is a must read for all the people out there, especially for the emotional belt, who try to balance themselves between their hometown and the place where they live with a great nostalgia. Everyone can give it a try, since this book won’t take much of your time. I finished this book in 2 days, hardly 10 hrs totally. So what are you waiting for???Just buckle down yourself with this awesome gift for us from a humanist.


  1. From wht you have said here..seems to be a good book and my kinda of book...coz i always love emotional pot boilers....but havent read books in a long lets see..if i get a chance to read this...


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