Micro Book Review: The Awasthis of Aamnagri

By Ashutosh Kumar Thakur

Shubha Sarma’s second work of fiction – The Awasthis of Aamnagri – is a thoroughly engaging read.

For the local reader it brings together the paradoxically subtle yet eccentric tang of the colloquial tongue and the sphere of the bustling family that is shaped by it and that also does its bit to contour it. For the reader who is unfamiliar with the culture being written on, this book is a whole busy world that leads you to code and decode the intricacies – the stresses and joys – of being part of a tradition. Loved the episodes of the Ramtodi and plotted revenge of the denizens of the trees. Very rooted in its observations of the workings behind every character!

Families are like the sweet mangoes of Aamnagri—messy, filled with juicy secrets and sticking together through all times. The Awasthis of Aamnagri are the quintessential Indian family, who bumble through their lives encountering missing jewels and stolen eggs, deaths foretold, averted and a suspected suicide with no body. The mysteries are solved by the inquisitive minds of young Lakshmi and Guddu and the saffron-clad Guruji.

Home is home of all great literature and Sarma’s absorbing tale unfolds the saga of a family holding on to its customs to conflicts and a sense of displacement. The free flowing, spontaneous narrative style is appealing.

The author has captured the Indianness of our lives very well. It is a superb work of fiction by Ms. Shubha Sarma.

With charming agility, the Awasthis sail through life and its quirks. The advent of God-men, genuine and fake, is a source of both relief and embarrassment for them. But not for the Lady of the Mansion—Mataji. She is the sutradhar who strings this tale of silk sarees and talking parrots together, who handles bedridden bahus and in-danger bhaiyyas with equal ease, who is tyrannical and vulnerable at the same time. And through whom the Awasthi family discovers that happy endings come for a price—of truth and love.

We could totally connect with it as most of us grew up in homes bursting at seams during summer with the arrival of extended family. The author has captured the Indianness of our lives very well. It is a superb work of fiction by Ms. Shubha Sarma.

A book you will end up reading at one!! Enjoyed reading it.

All over a game of bridge!

Book : The Awasthis of Aamnagri by Shubha Sharma

Publisher: Niyogi Books

Language : English

Price: Rs 350

 

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