Author: Anupama Raju
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
Rating: 4.5/ 5
Brilliant, engaging and beautiful are the words that first escaped my mouth once I finished reading this novel. Using descriptions laced with verses that appeal to both the visual and auditory senses, Anupama Raju aces the test by bringing forth a narrative that has the power to sweep you off your comfort zone and force you to reflect upon how life rolls the dice in the most unanticipated manner. C is the name shared by two cities: one is sunless and sooty while the other is sun-kissed and sanguine. The nameless protagonist is fired up to utilize her sabbatical and write something substantial. Hence, she embarks on a journey of exploring the pathos that adorns the sunless C.
In her quest to unravel several secrets that have been conveniently pushed under the wraps, the author, better known as the wanderer, meets another woman from the past, a mere figment of her imagination, who helps the former peel off several layers of forced opinions and stereotyping by taking the former through a heart-wrenching journey of love and ill-fate. The author’s constant struggle to bend the boundaries of her imagination in order to find that little corner of joy and solace is so disheartening because every time she makes an attempt to find peace, she ends up being sucked into the abyss of dismay and loneliness. She has a lover, a man who lets her be herself (quite often) but also seldom gives in to her longing for verbose praises and constant desire for humane touch. She’s told by her friend how toxic it is to put someone on such a high pedestal, yet her love is unrelenting and that’s how she is able to come to grips with the chaos that ensues in her mind.
She finds relief in chaos, in madness and in everything dark and emotionless. She calls herself self-obsessed and self-centered yet the readers might have the urge of waking her up from the slumber of misunderstanding and deliberate self-depreciation. The story is a beautiful yet subtle portrayal of mental illness and its impact on the physical, social and emotional well-being of an individual. Deprivation of love can often make one feel like an empty barrel that always has the urge to be put to good use. Hence, when the protagonist feels the desperation to feel loved and longed for, she comes across as needy. Only over the course of words and several pages do the readers get to know about her true being. Hence, the themes of isolation and recovery from a trauma have been weaved into the narrative seamlessly.
C has been beautifully crafted, for it is a seamless blend of thoughtful prose and inimitably graceful and piquant poetry. The harmonious symphony that the words produce is mellifluous enough to interest your reading buds. The creativity just flows for the author and it is an absolute pleasure to get a chance to dive deep into her world of make-belief cities and vague protagonists. I have never relished descriptive writing before C. Using beautiful metaphors and similes, the writer just won my heart. Hence, this is a must-read for all the Literature lovers.
Best wishes to the author!
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