Friday, September 28, 2012

Book Review: Illicit by Dibyendu Palit

Illicit
by Dibyendu Palit
Published in English translation by Penguin India, 2010


Of late a lot of Bengali literature is being translated to English. It's a boon particularly for the likes of me who can read Bengali, but haltingly, so cannot really enjoy the essence of the story, and, for those who cannot read in Bengali, of course. 

Dibyendu Palit's Illicit, translated to English by Arunava Sinha, originally published in 1989 as Aboidho. 


From the jacket
Ashim didn’t attract her anymore. She had not realized that she had lost interest in this wooden, mechanical and tedious relationship. Until she met Partha.

Eight years into her marriage to Ashim, responsible and conscientious to a fault, Jeena, an attractive housewife, finds herself drawn to Partha Mukherjee. Stolen glances and clandestine meetings lead to a weekend trip to Puri while Ashim is away on business. At Puri, however, after a night of passion turns violent, Jeena is besieged with doubts about her illicit relationship.

About the author
Novelist, short-story writer and poet Dibyendu Palit was born in 1939 in Bhagalpur, Bihar. Writing for over fifty years, Palit is renowned for his explorations of middle-class India. Among his honours are the Ananda Purashkar (1984), the Bankim Award (1990) and the Sahitya Akademi Award (1998). He lives in Kolkata.


Review
The way then plot takes shape, you might be led to think it's going the unconventional way, but in the end, Jeena regrets the affair with Partha and returns to her husband. It's not very clear if the story telling was lose originally, or it so happened during translation. I've read a couple of translations of Sankar's books, done by Sinha, and really loved them.

Characters were not very clear. Yes, Ashim was very busy with his career, but it was not made clear, as to why Jeena was not happy with him. Was it just his busy schedule or was it that she never got to love him?

Goof ups: 
1. The jacket refers to Partha as Mukherjee while he is Majumdar in the story.
2. Page 106, Second last para: Jeena is referred to as Gina.

My rating: 2.5/5



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