Title- Ri – Homeland of Uncertainty
Author- Paulami DuttaGupta
Publisher- Fablery (Fablery’s Ri, isn’t that musical?)
Cover design- Sunill Kaushik (Yes, Sunil with two L’s)
Price- Rs 150
I was contacted by the author to review her book which is based on the National Award winning movie by the name of Ri. It won the Rajat Kamal award and was in Khasi language.
About the author-
The author has written the screenplay for the movie Ri and is an author and journalist. She started her career with All India Radio and has had formal education in English. She has worked with Times of India and has contributed to novels and anthologies along the course of her career.
About the cover-
The cover paints an eerie picture of the violence-ravaged North-east of India. It is themed in black with sad faces marking the conflict through their expressions. It has tempted me to watch the movie and actually gain a view of what the landscape looked like. It turns out that the cover has been taken from the movie poster itself and the faces of the artists playing characters of the movie adorn the book cover.
About the book-
The book is fairly short and can be finished in one or two sittings. It is thrilling and the violence is shown with a humane side to it so that Indians who are not really aware of what a local goes through in the areas struck with terror can read a close account of the situation. The language is lucid and there is no ambiguity in the plot. There is no desperate attempt to build up a suspense or any inappropriate attempt to justify war or crime. The pages are nice and the book is error free. Congratulations to the publishers for that.
About the plot-
The characters of Emika and Manbha stand out as the two main characters of the plot. The terrorists are shown to be working on Meghalaya’s independence and seemingly intelligent conversations in the form of debates constitute the later part of the novella which is the backbone of the whole story. The characters although introduced only in passing, evoke sympathy. The police officer named Kyndiah is the protagonist waging lone war against the terrorists. His character is also defined nicely. The encounters have not really been elaborated and there has not been any attempt to stretch out any particular sequences which makes the book realistic and believable.
It is an earnest attempt and such books deserve to make headway in the mainstream market so that empathy and brotherhood among our countrymen can prevail.
I will give the book 3 stars out of 5.