Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Another Review: Sketches by Hootum the Owl

Review in The Hindu

A new translation of the iconic piece of Bengali literature by Kaliprasanna Sinha is as much a revelation as the original. Nidhi Dugar Kundalia.

Move back the clock to the time when Calcutta was a city like no other. On its fringes were miles and miles of hamlets and rivulets. A massive vitalised city of endless possibilities. Brimming with people, offering new scopes and opportunities; where risks could be taken and not be mistaken for brazenness.Those were the times that seemed on most occasions, a chaotic merger of too many eras; old and new, ever-changing, yet custom bound. Calcutta, in those times, cradled a world of its own and it needed to be understood.The decadent babu -like characters, the moral infection that plagued the society and the Indigo revolt of 1860 mentioned in the book find an eerie resonance in today’s times. In the Government buildings being painted white and blue, in freedom of speech being abused, and in the common man becoming an easy stepping stone for vote bank politics. Just that it was Calcutta then. It is Kolkata now.

No comments:

Post a Comment