Frosted Glass by Sabarna Roy
My Ratings- 4/5 stars
Frosted Glass comprises one story cycle consisting of 14 stories and one poem cycle consisting of 21 poems. The Stories, set in Calcutta, bring to the fore the darkness lurking in the human psyche and bare the baser instincts. The stories, compactly written and marked by insightly dialogues that raise contemporary issues like man-woman relationships and its strains, moral and ethics, environmental degradation, class inequality, rapid and mass-scale unmindful urbanisation, are devoid of sentimentalisation. The result is they remained focused and move around the central character who is named Rahul in all the stories. We encounter the events that shape, mar, guide Rahul’s life and also the lives of those around him, making us question the very essence of existence. Rahul symbolises modern man; he is not just one character, but all of us rolled into one. The story cycle stands out for two reasons – its brilliant narrative and the dispassionate style with which betrayal in personal relationships and resultant loneliness has been handled. The poems weave a maze of dreams, images, reflections and stories. They are written in a reflective and many a time in a narrative tenor within a poetic idiom. The poems are inseparable in a hidden way and are magically sequenced like various kinds of flowers in a garland or chapters of differing shades in a novel. Calcutta features in some of the poems like the looming backdrop of Gotham City in a Batman movie.
About the Author
Sabarna Roy, 44, is a qualified Civil Engineer from Jadavpur University, Calcutta. He works in a senior management position in a manufacturing and engineering construction company. An avid reader and a film buff, Roy is widely travelled in India and lives in Calcutta with his family. He started writing during his university days, mostly English and Bengali poems. He stopped writing after he left university and took up employment. After a gap of 19 years, he started writing once again, mostly to reconnect with himself. In 2010, he published a book comprising a long story and four long narrative poems titled Pentacles with Frog Books. Roy has a dedicated page on oxfordbookstore.com and can be contacted at [email protected]
I have read this author’s work before so this book was more tempting for me and I am glad that I picked this book and this book didn’t disappoint me. I guess I have read poetry book by this author and this one is story so it was something new for me. It’s a quite lengthy book so it took me time to finish it. I will briefly summarise the blurb. The story revolves around Rahul, Sanjay and Leila and mostly their college life and youth incidents. The story moves at faster pace, I like that. I like the narration style of the author. Like here is the example from one of my favourite paragraph.
“The storm was rising far away from me. It was dredging with it columns of sand and ash, creating an opaque screen between where I stood and what lay in front of me.”
Certain incidents reminded me of my college days and those incidents with my friends. I like the story because major aspects of life of protagonist has been covered. Like all important aspects of the life has been included. I like the writing style of the author. It’s simple and too beautiful that everyone can enjoy reading it. I liked the language and vocabulary used. I think the story could have been presented with more decorative way but I liked this narration style also. The plot is unique definitely. Overall good one. I really enjoyed reading it.