Monday, August 19, 2013

Review: Tall Man Small Shadow by Vipin Behari Goyal

Many of us have read books which have an unusual theme. They go deep in to a subject and try to explain the bits and pieces of it. Author Vipin Behri Goyal in his debut book "Tall Man Small Shadow" has chosen a path which not many stray on to narrate a tale. So is he successful in justifying his own plot? Let's find out. 

It is my debut English novel based on existentialism. Salil loves a shadow which transforms into many characters to reveal the secrets of life. Aalya, his neighbor, is doing research in English literature. Her guide Seema is a childless lesbian. Paul, husband of Seema, is a drama director. I am the protagonist, who coins philosophies for day to day events and my wife Sulekha is the second protagonist who makes coincidences happen with her artful manipulations. Read on to learn what happens when.... 

First look on the cover and the title and the readers will get a feel of something spooky coming. But the title is very well aligned with the cover image. The author has chosen to kept is simple yet deceptive. The blurb talks about few people and the events of their day to day life with the author itself at helm with his wife to explain the existence of the book. The blurb though not very sparkling in terms of appearance but has some things which will throw the reader's thought process off course. It's intriguing for a curious mind. 

The story revolves around a man, his wife Sulekha, their daughter Aalya and their neighbor Salil. Old age is catching up with the narrator and his wife and they want the best for their daughter. A daughter who knows her limits, has not done anything out of the blue, cares about her parents and is obedient and shy. Salil their neighbor is a recluse who prefers to stay with himself till he sees Aalya at his doorstep. Love culminates between them and takes a lot of time to get hang of things. Meanwhile Aalya and her guide cum mentor Seema who is in a non existent kind of relationship with husband Paul is drawn towards Aalya. It's reciprocated with equal force and it changes the whole perception of Aalya and gives a new dimension to her life. Will Aalya & Salil come together? Will Seema stop herself? What will Aalya's parents do to see their child settled? These are the questions that will be answered in the book. 

It's a fluid story with no pauses and if's and buts in narration. It takes time to get hang of things in the book. But once Aalya comes in the picture the story is on a roll. The everyday events and the delicate subjects of our society have been touched with utmost importance. All the characters have played an important part in the story and contributed to the existence of the book. The elders narrating the whole story and the later on revelations of the mother are a highlight of the whole book. 

Faults are hard to find in the book. There are hardly any except for the pace which won't suit some people's reading style. 

If you are serious about understanding the approach of a human being towards their life each and everyday then this is the book to look out for. From the mother child relationship to the care and to the fatal attraction towards the same gender and in the end concealing all other things to keep each other happy have been covered with command in the book. It's not a regular love story but it has enough to excite a young or an adult mind. 


4 OUT OF 5. 

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