Book Review: “Daughter of a Drunkard Monk”
Author: Saumya Kaushik
Publisher: Omji Publishing House Pvt. Ltd. (1 February 2015)
The Indian literary scene is bursting at the seams with new authors, new plots (almost, and sometimes contrived), new ambitions and new hopes (for some of us at least). And amidst all of this, as a reader, I am often perplexed and overwhelmed. I don’t know what to read some times. It is not about choice. It is about the quality of writing. It is about the writing that is intellectually laced and about the kind of writing that aims to reach out to everyone. In all of this, there is the kind of book that is mid-way – somewhere there but not appeasing to the masses (or not aiming to at least) and yet it does. “Daughter of a Drunkard Monk” by Saumya Kaushik is one such book. I thought “Daughter of a Drunkard Monk” would be the kind of book which would not interest me. I thought I had nothing to do with the character’s lifestyles and choices. Sometimes, you feel the book is not for you and then when you read it, it changes your perception. It is about life today in the metropolis – fast, rushing at neck-breaking speed, the pseudo-decadence that it reeks of and in all of this, souls trying to find something substantial to hold on to – love perhaps.
Naina, a heart surgeon is emotional yet ambitious in life. She has been turned down by life at many a point in life. What matters is the spirit and courage the protagonist faces and overcomes her destined fate. This in short is the plot of the book. The writing is simple and bursts with energy.
Sometimes, I found myself rushing through the book and at others I was mulling over what I had read.Saumya’s language is racy. The book is supposed to be that belonging to erotica, however in my opinion it transcends that and enters literary fiction very briefly, going back to being a meditation on love and life. If a writer can manage to pull that off, then you know for sure that the book is more than just a page-turner. “Daughter of a Drunkard Monk” is a book that is a whirlwind. It seeps you in and doesn’t let go. Go read it. It will grip you from the first chapter on.
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