The ending of Shamsuddin’s Grave: The Story of a Homeless is what brings the title of the book in perspective and lets the reader understand the true plight of the immigrants and migrant laborers. A bit of materialism even where there is none such is the twist in the tale.
The concept and thought of the book are sound. The characters speak for themselves and the author, Paromita has drawn them well. Latika and her father, aunt and the scenes and setting etched of Shillong & Guwahati were so real. I have lived there so I could easily imagine it all. Debjoyti was another important character who could have been explored further, he was a mystery. He added a lot to the story but was heard and not seen much.
Latika’s personal life is on a similar thread along with Shamsuddin and the search for the missing girl. All this while love is found, missed and reclaimed. The story is narrated in parallel as the life of Latika and Shamsuddin intersect and move together. Shamsuddin is reeling from failure and Latika is trying to avoid it, by helping each other they find a common purpose in life.
A discarded soul he finds some care with the old lady, Latika’s aunt whose own children have moved away for work. She ignores the societal norms and lets a Muslim migrant work for her. The book is set in such a hopeful tone, looking for solutions, taking the first step and working for a better today.
The book has major issues in language and grammar. A thorough editing and spell check would have been a boon for this book. Sadly, it leaves a bad taste for the reader. I recommend the author get it professionally edited for the second edition.
A well thought out story that does not get its due because of the language.
Shamsuddin’s Grave: The Story of a Homeless
Acceptance is something that we all yearn for but what if you are not accepted? Will you prove yourself or let the time decide?
Latika’s wrecked personal front leaves her completely shattered. So when her ailing father reveals his desire to go back home, she doesn’t think twice and moves to her hometown. She joins an NGO and comes across a teenager rape victim. Much against her TL, Debjyoti’s wish she sets out to trace the girl with Shamsuddin’s help. Will she succeed or end up in big trouble?
Shamsuddin, a daily labourer, somehow manages to thrive in the city. Meanwhile, flood devastates his house in the village. His family takes refuge in a relative’s place where his wife has a tough time resisting to the advances of her brother-in-law. Can Shamsuddin arrange for an accommodation before it is too late?
Set in Guwahati amid the backdrop of flood and ethnic turmoil, “Shamsuddin’s Grave”, is the story of migration towards big cities for a better life.