Wednesday, February 26, 2014

#BookReview : Virgin Gingelly by V. Sanjay Kumar

On the jacket:

I hope to be remembered in this street, amongst the lame, as the husband of the one with amorous thoughts and sexy legs. There used to be a writer here in this empty house, they will say. He had a porous mind.
A stubborn writer struggles with his stories in a city that has been encroached.
The last bastion is an urban agraharam near Mylapore where a bunch of misfits perform a strange kutcheri. Among these are existential street dogs, short-changed lovers, disgruntled housewives, runaways with bombs, veshti-wearing elders, and nihilist teenagers coming to terms with their sexuality. With a singular desire to escape, these characters visit each others stories creating a layered narrative of loss and ennui.
In language both gritty and humourous, and often surprisingly poetic, V Sanjay Kumars narrative, set in modern middle-class, housing-cooperative Chennai, tackles the simple conundrum of being and belonging.


I finished reading this book in the morning and all day, the book with it's stories and poems had been playing in my mind. I am still not sure how to review the book, lest I fall in doing justice to it. This book is not really for the ones who prefer easy reads, and few might not even like it. Don't let the cover pic fool your, this book is not about virgins or kathakali dancers.

You need to be patient. You need to delve right into the pages and live with the characters. Yes, be ready to be an onlooker in the story. The author ensures you are pulled write in. Very fine specimen of writing, the book is engrossing. On the flipside, you might want to stop reading. But don't. I would suggest, you read till the last page. You will feel enriched.

Narrated by the author, one will find various narrations and see a haphazard collection of them. It's as simple as this. Take your own life and pull up incidences from over the years, randomly, and place them one after the other but not in any order. The language is poetic yet simple, and the story, at times, seen from the eyes of other characters as well. 

There are sections in this book, which once can read and re-read. My favourite is this thing about what book collecting is, so much that I simply had to instagram the quote. I loved these lines so much, they are perfect. Another set of likes I loved is, "I miss Delhi. I miss the seasons, I miss the gehu roti titbits and I miss the Hindi sound of kutte kameenay."

Rating: ****/5

[This is a review for Market My Book, The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

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