Book Review: Purono Album- Redolent of Boyhood

Book Review: Purono Album- Redolent of Boyhood

By Kushal Dasgupta | @indiablooms | 06 Feb 2018

Sometimes you look back at the sepia past, dotingly, sometimes one stops and gazes behind, lamenting all wealth was in the past, sometimes people steal a glance back, just enjoying it.

First time author Pratim Bose doesn't seem to look back. He walks with the past on one side and the present on the other, both looking at each other to tell the tales of the fluid  time  that meanders through one's life. The time is never a prisoner.

His "Purono Album" is a collection not of short stories in real term, but of pieces of reminiscence of boyhood in the background of a semi-urban industrial land, which is blessed with huge foliage and full of a vibrant life in the seventies and eighties.

The tales are told in a carefree, frolicking manner.  Many characters-Gote kaku, D'Silva, Balai kaku, Bachchu da-  come in and go away leaving a chequered  imprint on you. Only the 'Baba' (the iron-fisted yet well-meaning man, who was not uncommon four decades ago) and a loving and tolerant 'Ma' remain constant like eternity-like the mooring of one's life.

Even as the narrative captures a certain period with all its essence very near to one and all, the time whizzes past  (like the bicycle carrying a boy through bumpy roads from Durgapur bazar to barrage) and his  boyhood grows into sensuous adolescence, then to youth and manhood. The  identifying  'smells' of  life  he smelt at different points of  time never return, nor does he encounter new ones, but they remain vivid for ever to be redolent of the time that ends in present.

The high point of the narrative is the ability to play with the aspects of humanity even concerning beasts and plants and inanimate objects, which are also essential characters.The author runs his brush with colourful paints making you smile, leaving you amused, but yet sometimes  you feel a lump in the throat.  'Cycle', 'Bondhu', 'Tabil', 'Maya', 'Chithi', 'East Bengal', 'Gandho', 'Bhutu', 'Bangabandhu', 'Ichche' are some of the touching pieces. 

Even if you experience a difference in time and topography, the fun-filled fragmented tales give you a kaleidoscopic view of something that brings  in a whiff of your own boyhood.

The cover of the book, published by Dey Publications and priced at Rs 140  has been beautifully illustrated by Pranab Hazra.

Amazon Link of the Book: https://www.amazon.in/PURONO-ALBUM-BENGALI-VERSION-PRATIM/dp/9381679959

Book Review: Purono Album- Redolent of Boyhood

By Kushal Dasgupta
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