The best that can happen to a reader as per me is to get a book in gift from someone :). But it becomes double the happiness when you get it straight from the Author, that too personally and of-course, he’s got to sign it as well ;). The highlight of my last month’s Bangalore trip (Official) was my visit to the book-readers pilgrimage called “Blossoms”. I posted the same on Facebook a couple of hours prior to my visit and Mr. Kalyanaraman Durgadas messaged me saying that he was in the area and we could very well catch up over a cup of coffee. Guess what, I had no idea up to the very moment I met him that he has written Books 🙂 and he delighted me by buying and gifting a copy of his own book from the next door books store “Bookworm”. Briefly he told me that it was based on an important chapter from History and as I love not reading a blurb or a review of any book that I plan to read, I didn’t ask him much about the book. So technically I had no idea what I was getting into and I am glad I didn’t ask him either as it turned out to be a FANTASTIC Historical Fiction, If I may call it that because the unfortunate ignorant that I am on the subject, I have no idea of its historical accuracy but that takes nothing away from the awesome story. Also, another best part which worked big time in favor of the book was that I haven’t read many Historical Fictions in the recent times and NONE from our part of the world. But now that I have read his book, I can very well guarantee you that none of the contemporary Author’s book(s) will come any closer to this one, especially the subtle way he has told his story. Wow, I am already looking forward to his upcoming works, as and when he writes, gotta text him and ask what is he up-to these days :).
The beautiful book I kept on my book-rack for quite a while as I was in the middle of a mammoth book series and I picked it up early this week and the fantastic story it was, I finished it too fast. I guess that is always the case with a good book, the better they are, the faster they finish :). My initial impression of the book and its story from late 19th century was that it was a love story of sorts from a small town on the banks of Cauvery, but the way it turned and picked up the pace mid-ways, my mind totally got blown and let me tell you this, the way it reaches the mid-ways, it becomes simply unputdownable and by the time it ends, it simply becomes a superb thriller with awesome action. Now, since the timeline is late 19th Century, pre-independence days and life are so beautifully captured by the Author that it refreshed the memories I have of my mother’s book, she is a huge huge fan of Indian Revolutionary heroes and I have read most of them. Story of a simple straight-forward Brahmin, who loses his wife very early in life, marries his wife’s sister (as per her own wish), story goes forward as his Son and Daughter take up the reins forward. It was quite a refreshing change to see a doting father from that era who gives so much freedom to his daughter, you’ve got to read this father-daughter story. In the meantime his fragile son (almost good for nothing for me initially) goes through his own challenges and life. But the day he gets the right direction, and wakes up, there is no looking back. I actually didn’t imagine in my wildest dreams of what he becomes and how he does what he does best. Hats off to Mr. Kalyanaraman especially the way he has carved out these beautiful characters.
The entire story is narrated so beautifully, especially the life back then, the cloths that they wear, traditions, Britishers, our own struggles but the most important character among all is the river Cauvery, it actually feels as if the river is telling a story that she herself witnessed. I mean if Cauvery actually has to tell us a story, it will exactly be written the way this story is written, simple, subtle, beautiful, romantic, suspensive and thrilling. The book indeed put a big smile on my face with two very important characters from our History as they make brief appearances. I totally loved it and those precious words, simply superb. I am super glad that I made that trip and thankful to him to have me read his beautiful book. If you have read “Songs of the Cauvery”, do let me know how you like it but if you haven’t, I will say wait no more, Go get it and enjoy the story. It is a terrific story which has to be read by all.
PS: I am going to mail this book now to my mother 😉 as she will be super excited to know that I actually got it straight from the Author and I am doubly sure that she will love the story big time.