I read Tuhin A. Sinha’s first book, “That Thing Called Love”, in the year 2009. A randomly-picked book became one of my favorite books. Reason? Its simple flow of story and unique love tales – articulately woven and told. It became such a favorite, that I proudly treasured it in my bookshelf.
This year, when Tuhin’s “The Edge of Desire” reached my hands, I hurriedly started reading it word by word. My hectic work schedule kept me off my reading table. But, a short ailment and time off from work helped me spend some fruitful time with the book. Today, I finished reading it and couldn’t stop myself from writing a review.
The story spins around the protagonist Shruti Ranjan – a journalist turned politician – and her tryst with love, failure, humiliation due to a brutal rape, meteoric success as a politician, and various other dilemmas – professional and personal. There are other three leading characters in the story – Sharad (a leading politician and Shruti’s Godfather in politics), Abhay (Shruti’s ex-BF), and Rohit (Shruti’s husband and an IAS officer) – who are someway connected with Shruti’s life and have a role to play in her happiness, sadness, or success.
While reading the book, I encountered myriad emotions, like anguish, joy, sadness, and regret. Tuhin has effortlessly and successfully potrayed the emotions of a woman despite being a man. It’s unimaginable how a man so beautiful describes the feelings of a woman.
There are moments when the emotions of a rape victim are so beautifully and subtly described, that I forgot completely that the author of the book is a man! I got soaked in Shruti’s grieving self. I mourned with her for the brutality meted out to her, and also felt her resolve to avenge the wrong. Such is the impact of the thoughtful first-person narration.
The story speaks volumes about Tuhin’s good knowledge of Indian history and polity. There is a good balance of fiction and facts seamlessly presented in the story.
Despite talking at length about the Indian polity, religions, social issues, and history, Tuhin has maintained remarkable caution in not flaring up unwanted controversies. His writing has depth and deep understanding of a writer’s responsibility to communicate appropriate message to his readers.
There is a beautiful definition of “undefined” love in Shruti’s relationship with Sharad. A relationship that’s like Krishna and Draupadi’s or Krishna and Arjuna for that matter. In today’s world, when writers openly bring sex and lust into their stories dealing with relationships, or women precisely, Tuhin has been successful in pen-potraying the beauty of love – platonic and sexual.
I especially liked that part of the story where he tries to bring forth the various equations that make up a relationship. He has beautifully presented the human nature to seek love beyond love, and then repenting when it is lost.
What I liked the most about the book was its easy-to-read and fast-paced story flow. The language is intelligible to all classes of readers. A perfect read for all age-groups.
I am at loss of words at this point, but can surely tell you one thing – Despite having a completely unconventional theme, The Edge of Desire has the potential to develop into a full-fledged cinema of Ganga Jal or Rajneeti genre.
As a huge movie buff, I’d like to see The Edge of Desire on screen someday.