Anon by Bhavani Iyer
Author: Bhavani Iyer
Publication: Fingerprint Publishing
Bhavani Iyer is a screenwriter who has screened Bollywood movies like Black, Raji, Lootera, Guzaarish etc. Though a screenwriter her debut novel Anon keeps a deep mark in the reader’s heart.
The author promises to guide us to the red earth of Shantiniketan along with two geniuses…Debottam and Urbish walked out from two contradictory social strata. And she has kept her promise most promisingly.
Being a voracious reader I use to read a lot of books. But very few of them can keep a stain on me… characters, language, plot or anything else that can snatch you from your orbit of placidity and throw you in a whirlpool of emotions or send you to the rollercoaster of myriads of emotions.
Vabani Iyer with her debut novel Anon hits just the core as if she has thrown a challenge to me…” Buddy chew it on.”
Yes, I’m chewing the pages after pages, words after words, sometimes gliding, sometimes immersing within the vortex of restless provocation that Urbish saves for me, Moyna destines for me and above all Debbotom lashes on me.
Thanks to Iyer for presenting such a wonderful book that not only keeps a stain on my heart …but transforms it somewhere beyond my reach.
Debottam is the son of a rich zamindar, Shubojit Bhattacharya. He is extraordinary with his insurgent demeanour and astounding acumen for literature and creative writing. Whatever he creates emerges from his subconscious mind of him whose depth none can fathom.
He has a shocking childhood. He witnessed his insane mother die who in the bout of insanity locked herself in the car and died of suffocation from obnoxious gas fumes. His mother’s insanity, pathetic death, and his father’s cold poised gait shattered his childhood innocence. From the dark oblivion comes out a rebel spirit who knows no solace but a continuous sniffling mockery of this world, particularly to his father.
His uncivilized behaviour, violent aggressive audacious rude attitudes to the world was harnessed by his other self…self of an author who lost himself amidst the maze of creation…
Then his anger for the world diminished and he gets lost in a new world. He has to hurry to prove himself, no desire to hold a place. He is an indifferent rebel soul of this Earth who can easily renounce the king’s crown for a rag.
On the other hand, there is Urbish…orphan boy of a poor fisherman from Sundeban who was killed by a tiger in his endeavour to save it from the angry villagers.
” The next moment the tiger fell off the tree, down some thirty feet and landed right on Bibhuti, crushing him under its weight “
And Urbish has to return to his boarding school in Kolkata that his father arranged for him with all his saved money. Urbish had to prove himself to exist in this world…he has to fight hard to keep his position in that harsh world where only affluents can dominate. With his stamina, dogged determination and strenuous tenacity he attained and fixed his hard-earned future…future of poor orphan youth.
Being frustrated and dejected by Deb’s insane outrage and boorishness his father sends him to Santiniketan for his studies. And Urbish completing his studies in Kolkata is sent to Shantiniketan for his higher studies by his well-wisher and caregiver Father Samuel.
These two poles meet in the serene flora of Rabindranath Tagore’s temple of education. Their fates encounter, clash and are finally intertwined in a certain way that we the readers are left confused if we try to detach them from one another.
Literature and Critical Analysis:
” No writer is perfect, no writer can be perfect, and it is foolish to believe that. Any idiot can dig up meanings, manufacture nuances, give far greater context than the writer ever intended, and attribute subtexts by their idolatry interpretation of any piece of literature. It is easy to genuflect to the so-called masters; it’s questioning them that requires courage.”
And you know guys why I love the book most…because I’m a student of English Literature and sometimes I go mad with the critical analysis and unnecessary postmortem of literary Pieces. I feel like Debottam that the critics’ job is to think beyond the writers and make us mad.
Whatever glory or attributions that are imposed on characters can be stripped off in a second like his interpretation of Hamlet.
“I think Hamlet is one of the most problematic texts I’ve read, Deb spoke on, earnest now, even serious. ‘It is a very conventional genre, a revenge drama. It has a victim, a villain, and an avenger. Hamlet learns in Act One that Claudius killed his father. And yet he s just contemplates and introspects and rages about the fact, but is too weak-willed to act until the end of the play—months later, going by the timeline in the story—despite having had several opportunities to take his revenge. He plays too many games, sacrifices innocent people like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern needlessly, and seems to possess no morals at several points, making you question his sensitive temperament and high intellectual gifts.”
The smell of book:
The smell of books that Urbish traced when he helped his classmate to collect his fallen books from the floor lingers in this novel and wafts in my sensation. Again and again, I take this book and taste the smell…potent as well as inebriating.
Urbish and Debottam:
I feel I love them both. I love Debottam for the unfathomable anguish that resides in my heart. Again I love Urbish for his struggle to win the hardships of life and become successful.
Debottam is the bonfire…the revolution. Urbish is the placid night sky.
I like to quote every speech of Debottam. They all are the best quotes for me.
” Deconstructing a genius by dissecting his mind is like performing an autopsy on a peacock to search for its beauty. Ruines everything.”
The similarity between their life:
“They had both loved their fathers, their deaths would haunt them forever, but the love would always be infused with anger and pain. Urbish and Deb didn’t grow up the day their fathers died. They were already men, who had never been boys. Both Deb and Urbish had always seen their fathers with blinding clarity, but the fathers had never understood their sons. The child indeed was the father of the man he had interred.”
The most storing aspect of the novel is its sound interplay of language and emotions. You will feel like gliding through the mesmerizing voraciousness of the expressions. Neat and clean yet highly intellectual acuity is laced with a melancholic audacity. It touches torments and exaggerates human frailty but at the same time, it shuffles with the self like chronic pain. There is no flamboyancy of verbose or intrigued plot structure to keep the readers in a perpetual struggle to sieve out the meaning. A swift, sober melody escorting with fluorescent language elevates the book to a fathomless glory.
I wish to be a writer like Deb…whose emotion works as the budding spirit and guiding force of his plots. His indifferent charm, his captivating carelessness, and his all-absorbing dedication are all I like to absorb within me even the negativity that kills him, reinvents him.
Anon by Bhavani Iyer is a fascinating journey for me where the author adroitly weaves the warp and weft of every thread.