someday ill be in company of all....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Review:The Road to Serfdom by F.A Hayek

Title: The Road to Serfdom
Author: F.A Hayek
Publisher: 9780415255431
Pages: 272
Price: Routledge
Genre: Non-fiction
Source: Library
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Buy The road to serfdom from

Addressing economics, fascism, history, socialism and the Holocaust, Hayek unwraps the trappings of socialist ideology. The Road to Serfdom remains one of the all-time classics of twentieth-century intellectual thought.

Hayek the professor in him has tried to put together his intellectual thoughts on the roots of the problem that European world suffered in WWII and how from the mistake of pasts through war they are given a chance to start over all over again in a better way...Yet they (U.S and Europe) are not willing to learn from their past mistake and built a better future..I skipped the introduction my Milton Friedman and I may not have any excuse to that..

This book is sort of a warning on how socialism can lead to autocracy..Published in 1940's the book is most sought for its theories and ideologies..His main focus is on how economic intervention to better a situation can finally lead to further intervention and finally resulting in autocracy for they replace the existing market and hence the whole bearings rest upon a few individuals, hence onto their freedom and thoughts and not the democracy..He attempts to elaborate on how the act to do good can calculatingly do bad..For example in a socialist society an individual assumes that he has the choice to make but then his choices depends on the current scenario of the market which in itself has limited scope.Planning that goes over in the market actually takes away the freedom with which they can work on with..The book is divided into 15 chapters..each chapter explains different angles of the same problem of the market and governing authorities...

He starts with the current state of affairs though it dates back very close to 70 years ..he explains through narcissism , how the whole world has feared  Hitler and how all the country put their effort, resource and energy to overcome the tyranny..Every country  trying  in its own way to explain the current situation that existed then and  there by trying come into terms which eventually failed unless all put their effort in a unified thoughts for a solid solution but there after and the big chaos of war, the schemes that supposedly put for development issues , brought the whole situation under single solid domain of autocracy..Even when people were warned by the evil of socialism people fail to notice the change and their lose of freedom..People are bombarded with the false hope of totalitarianism that they fail to see...They fail to realize that they are losing their basic rights to freedom..

According to Hayek Socialism that is figured as a way to total freedom by diluting the disparity among the difference in income across hierarchy prevailing in society is not what it seems to be..For this he quotes France as an example that fell as a pray and eventually most European countries saw the upcoming danger of the free world in the name of Socialism and its dangers...In other words Socialism sprouted to Fascism in a from the palette..Mussolini who started off as a socialist went on to be fascist..There are always competition among fascists and socialism as according to Hayek they are all fighting for the same position..

Hayek has tried to clear the doubts and the confusion that socialism evokes..As socialism is seen as an epitome of security and equality,..But as socialism works its way to abolish privatization and an individual holding the supreme but distribution of the benefit and profit among the group can bring about planning system that will in turn have control over everything which is the confusion that the socialist attitude can bring about but in turn they all try to control people to serve their own purpose...

The confusion is when common good and general welfare is a variable constant and such that there would be a set of people who might get together  with same thoughts and they form into a group of free thinking people while they supposedly think that they are the ones who can think for common good and their thoughts as a representation of the common wave while many a times this may not be the case..

The impairment  arises when these set of people start to make rules and all are bound to live within the limits of these law tagged in the label of freedom of choice when actually one is forced to choose among the choices...He quotes Nazi government for this who at the outset projected themselves to be a representation of mass and took a stand on many things in the name e of bringing out change for betterment to the very people who were later opppressed..

According to Hayek any planned economy is nothing about autocracy, a tyranny in a more sophisticated order that steals away the freedom of people...Even when it comes to the choice of job the freedom to choose are limited to the positions available in the market that the government provides, controlling them the way they want ., all in the name of socialism and common good with better planning and fiscal security...

In a planned economy competition is created in the market creating  a disparity among people who can afford distinguishing from the people who can't afford...This  leaves with just  one choice to the poor of becoming rich there by entitling themselves a chance to afford..The leaders are the one who decide the incomes and their outcome, leaving behind the very good motto of common good far behind ... they also fail  in the most important fact of freedom of people by controlling them indirectly...

Even security is relatively controlled to minimum standard of living where a particular income can guarantee only a certain kind lifestyle while a slight fluctuation in the market would in turn reflect in the same...A person makes a choice of his way of life based on the income, hence highly paid jobs becomes  lucrative while lowly paid makes a job unattractive..

The problem occurs when socialism take the state of oppression with many to follow and being oppressed by a leader or a group of leaders.. The group that follows  has no independent judgments or thoughts to oppose the oppressor..The situation goes to the extend that even people start to think the way their leader wants them to creating a  complete harmony in a convincing way..

According to Hayek, be it fascism or narcissism they all took their roots from socialism out of Marxist theory.. He quote how Sombart switched their stand from Marxist theory to the socialist ground while Plenge points out the problems of individual freedom in socialism..

While people are still surprised on how narcissism came into being in Germany, but  as per Hayek it was quite predictable as German opposition to British liberalism was the reason for the German state of affair..
However, the complication started when the current generation oppose market hence indirectly pave way for the individuals or the governing authority to take over that leads  to further suppression..Further planning shifts the hands on labor in a different way at the outset while the core remains all the same...

As we cannot achieve international peace for serving one country's economic end sacrificing their fellow countrymen and not coming into terms for common good .. Hence we will never let anything bring a positive solution for the common good..

My favourite quote is "The coming of socialism was to be the leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom"..(page 25)
Hayek's language may not be easily understood but once your onto it things become clear to the extend that you start nodding to his way of expressions..

According to me socialist way of society gives us with a way to pursue a path away from labor work  or non-economically  productive way life, living a life of ones passion on arts, science and education itself while in times of scarcity the very same members might be the cause of disability and much of chaos..Many a times lack of incentives itself might contribute for unwanted competition that itself make the situation quite unstable with low standard of living and poor health...While I might be naive at pointing out the only advantage of capitalism as the least governmental interference while the very same advantage could act as a dagger with the situation being unchecked leading to a much of impairment of the people at the working class..Hayek theories has been much sought for for its own good and deeper thoughts while to me his thoughts were like the philosophy that people come up with their own version of  interpretation..

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Book Review: Garlic and Sapphires:The secret life of a critic in disguise by Ruth Reichl

Title: Garlic and Sapphires:The secret life of a critic in disguise
Author: Ruth Reichl
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 352
Price: Rs 1106
ISBN: 9780143036616
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Borrowed

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Buy Garlic and sapphires:the secret life of a critic in disguise from

Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the world—a charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities. In Garlic and Sapphires, Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives us—along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews—her remarkable reflections on how one’s outer appearance can influence one’s inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.

Books on food plus memoir are always fun to read..I chose this book particularly because it said that Ruth Reichel author of the book made dinning at the Asian inspired cuisine cool, so I just wanted to know more about this powerful author bit more..

"With great power comes great responsibilities" that is a famous quote from Spider man -I.This is a similar situation that Reichel  faced as being a food critic for the New York Times..The book is her reminiscence of her six years tenure at the Times. Starts with her interview and how she landed on the hot seat..Being in the hot chair of a popular office means she is bound to me known, hence she feared she would fail in her duty with a honest opinion as she would be bestowed with lavish treats and luxurious care when compared to a normal customer, so she decides to get help from Claudia , her mother's friend who retired acting coach and then on starts a fun, entertaining story of Reichel in her new avatar...Claudia, Reichel with the help of professional makeup artists start to work on with different characters from her dress to wig to make up to make the disguise more authentic for Reichel..She superbly gets into the act of different people with unique accent, voice and modulations....She acquired everything needed for the character to come alive and they were very different from Reichel itself..

Through all we see different aspects of Reichel's life, her son's excitement on every getup, her husband's opinion and family's support  highlighting the point how friends and family's support go on a long to run in making of a success story...Her disguise includes Molly, Betty, Brenda,Miriam, Chloe..These characters ranges from teacher, to blonde, to hippie, to divorced old lady..At times she gets into the sexiest clothes that lands on with over-weighed attention to the extend of being asked on for date in a different restaurant that she has to review anyways, while for other character she gets into over-sized Armani suits with three skirts to add puffiness, fake wrinkles to brows and very different wigs for each person she becomes, I really was wonderfully how she might have looked in the hippie costume..She goes to the extend of getting credit cards on the fake names..Of course she gets to restaurants in her own self and feels the change in the treatment..Describing all about the disguises she has not left out with her review on restaurants and food..Her whole experience be it novelist or nonfiction they are total fun and entertaining.. There are few fun recipes too..

Her reviews has gone to extend of shattering the reputation of one of the supposedly best restaurants that abuses common people  while pampering the celebrities,while few lesser knows have had their limelight through her...

Her description about food makes you feel as though you are sitting right beside her and make you wish to  grab a quick bite from her plate..She just enjoys her food that makes her description amazing..Her description about food restaurant are very elaborate just like her costumes..She  focuses on the ethnic food joints that are inexpensive with good eating experience...

The book also make you  see food in a whole different perspective if you are among those who are too busy while you eat..She makes you to savor the moment of delicacy enjoying to deeper extend...She has described about her coworkers though the names have been changed you never know the extend of truth as her afterword says that many instances have been exaggerated and few being skimmed so the fact remains bit in between I guess...I felt Reichel is too good as a writer even as she describes her doorman's reaction at her various costumes to her personal conversation with her husband who keeps her down to earth are  revealing and enlightening at the very same time very engaging..

There is never a dull moment in the book even when you feel certain incidents for instance hell list of people waiting to call seem bit over the top..I would say just grab a copy and plunge into total fun...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Harry Potter series

Title:Harry Potter Series
Author:J.K Rowling
Genre: Popular fiction
Source: Personal
Rating: 4.5/5 for first three books
4 for fourth 3.5 for 5th, 6th and 7th.

I started off as a hard core lover of harry potter series, my relationship with Rowling series began with the first book of course way back in my school days, I got to read the first book in my 7th grade...Though I was out of the fantasy tale somehow the magic caught up with me and  I was completely addicted to it..Harry and his entire enchanted world was something that I always wanted to live in..Don't you all as kids wished a dash of magic everywhere around us be it in the name getting rid of usual homework  or a  quick
spell so mom would forget to feed you with a glass of milk (i hated milk), time travel machine to get you to endless holidays and the list is endless.. Harry potter had it all.. Its just not about the magic but there is a deep message of friendship and trust and celebration  of  the whole spirit of childhood with the right mix of intellect and brilliance through Hermione, funtime with Ron, mischeivous brilliance of Fred and George, above all Harry Potter who kept all together through thick and thin..

Bottomline of  the novel is a battle of good vs evil that progresses through years in Hogwarts school of  witchcraft and wizadry...It all starts when Harry on his eleventh birthday discovers that he is a wizard though the letter of of acceptance from the school personally delivered by Gigantic Hagrid with a pack of birthday cake. Brought up in the household of Aunt Petunia with no love and care , he is pleasantly surprised with the revelation, and deeply happy for the change. At Hogwarts he is introduced to the world of magic filled with witches and wizardry he is  pleased with the world that becomes his life  and learns more about his parents , he also discovers that he is a natural at Quidditch that he has inherited from his father and above all he learns about Lord Voldemort whose mere name everybody is scared  and it is he who has left a scar on his forehead killing  his parents, who died trying to save him..Harry finds friendship through Ron and Hermione who stick with him till the end..He slowly finds love, friendship (which is the important theme of the story), the book 'HP and the Sorcerer's Stone' starts with the trio saving the philosopher's stone from professor Quirell's who in turn is trying to help Lord Voldemort's back to life..The mere touch of Harry burn Quirell..

Second book 'HP and the Chambers of Secret'  they save Ron's sister Ginny (who reads a chapter from a diary that opens a gate for a monster from 'The chamber of secrets' in Hogwarts )..Harry also happens to destroy one of Voldemort's soul (horcrux) and killing the monster in the chamber.

Following is the next book 'HP and the prisoner of Azkaban' ...In the third year of Hogwarts, Harry and his friends come across Remus Lupin one of the wonderful defense against dark arts teacher, apparently Lupin also happens to be one Harry's parents closest friends, this is the year where we are introduced to Rowling's dreadful creatures called the Dementors who guard the prison where the wizardry criminals are held captive , these Dementors can suck the happiness and any trace of peace from human upon close contact..Harry  finds about about his godfather Sirius Black who has been alleged for betraying his parents, the trio with the help of time travelling machine help Black escape from Azkaban , fight against Dementors yet again proving that Harry is indeed destined for greatness..

After the third book, I found my interest in Harry dwindling ..Though the first four books were released in my school days, I got to read Goblet of fire only in my college days..

In the fourth book 'HP and the Goblet of fire' and the fourth year of Hogwarts,  Hogwarts is hosting a Tri-wazard contest which is like an inter school competition  is open only to the senior students .In this, we get to see many witches, professors from other magic schools as well, of course what fun without Harry into the contest but then he is not eligible to enter still someone make sure that he enters and gets to the final stage of the competition.. The tournament cup is a portkey( transportation object for wizard that transports them to predetermined upon touch)  he and Cedric Diggory (fellow contestant) are transported to cemetery and come face to face with Voldemort..Voldemort takes Harry's blood and restores his life, in close seconds Cedric dies but Harry survives..All this happens through one of Voldemort's supporter who impersonates as Professor Moody ..

Fifth book 'HP and the Order of Phoenix' witnesses a lot of activities as the Ministry of Magic intervenes on the school's activities, Prof Dolores Umbridge takes on the charge as the defense against dark arts teacher and becomes the high inquisitor of the school, outraged by the syllabus Harry with his friends start 'Dumbledore's army', Harry learns about Order of Phoenix a secret society that is set up by witch working hard to keep the world of magic away from Voldemort..Harry is taught Occlumency , a magical defense of mind from external mind reading and control from Prof Snape and he is having trouble concentrating.. Harry again with his friends fight against Voldemort's supports in the Ministry of Magic who are trying to get their hands of the glass sphere of prophecy..There is a strong fight against the teenagers and the dark witches in the dual the order of phoenix join them and during the fight Sirius Black is killed ..The prophecy state that Harry has a superior power that Voldemort doesn't possess and that either Harry destroy Voldemort or be killed by him..This year he also learns why Harry has to return to Privet Drive to his Aunt Petunia for every miserable summer holidays..

Fifth Book 'HP and the Half-blood Prince' Harry gets his hands on a book signed by an enigmatic half blood prince filled with many annotations, potions and many entries.. This is this book we see many social activities ..Harry's attraction for  Cho fades and he starts dating Ginny while Ron and Hermione's love also blossoms.. Harry learns from Dumbledore  that Voldemort's soul is split into many Horcruxe which has been hidden in many places..Together they start  the search of them travelling through Voldemort's past life..Harry has to find and destroy them to completely kill Voldemort...Professor Snape finally attains the post of being the defense against dark arts teacher , at the end of the book we see Snape killing Professor Dumbledore, the reason is revealed only upon the the death of professor Snape...

In the final and the seventh book, 'HP and the Deathly Hallows',  the battle in open, Voldemort regains power and takes over The Ministry of Magic, Harry and his friends drop out of Hogwarts in the quest  for Horcruxe .. Harry unravel the complicated personality of Professor Snape and the past of Prof Dumbledore.. Harry masters occlumency.. Harry learns through Snape's  memory that Harry happens to be one of the horcruxes hence lets himself be striked by Voldemort making Voldemort belive that he has finally killed Harry.. As all the horcruxes are destroyed in the final battle, tit finally comes down to Harry vs Voldemort and to the prophecy that "Neither can live while the other survives". The battle is deadly and we see lot of blood shed and deaths, Elder wand recognizes Harry as its true masters and refuses to kill Harry rebounding ..The same killing curse kills Voldemort who tried to kill Harry years ago bringing an end to the finale of the Harry Potter series..

As always with  famous series, Harry Potter too has been adapted to movie,  I  have  problem with a movie adapted from book as they lack details..Though I enjoyed the first two to some extend from the third onards I could not enjoy..

The book is the torch bearer of loyalty, bravery, courage under pressure, above all the zeal to believe in oneself. It underlines the point that in the fight between the good vs evil ,at the end its all about the good and not the evil..We witness many death, few are heart wrenching starting the list starts with Sirius Black, Albus Dumbledore, Dobby, Hedwig, Moody, Lupin, Tonk, one of the twin brothers Fred Weasely..

Being said that to me the most complicated characters was that of Severus Snape. His detestation to harry right from the beginning of the series is only mutual ,this worsens through the consecutive series... Though he is bitter and cold to everything around him, he is brilliant in what he does, working as a teacher for potion, his eyes are always onto the post of defense against dark arts still he is a real master at potions too. His true character and  true loyalty is known only after this death through his memories..

And my favourite character is that of Hermione she is smart, annoyingly brilliant with know it all air, quick witted and a true friend when in need..

I liked the Rowling's fictional spells, and few words such as pensive (a storage gadget for memories), parsel tongue (language to communicate with snakes), Floo powder(powder that wizard use for travelling) there are many more that were quite interesting ..The magic world itself  is under the control of Ministry of magic with various departments under it, there are magical enforcement squad, a specially trained witches to keep the criminals on check, event courts and Prison of Azkaban to keep the crime under check..They live under strict rule that the world of wizard should  remain unseen to humans( muggles) at all cost..At the household of a witch, there are house elves (small creature that works as servant at wizard house with at most loyalty undergoing deep neglect) who help out with everyday activity..The world with Hogsmede(magical village) Quidditch  matches made the series a thing of wonder often adding feathers to my thoughts and imagination..We watch the shy kids' amazing transformation into matured, daredevil kind of people in league of legends fighting  against evil, with their own fear and doubt yet overcoming them all..

Monday, September 9, 2013

Book Review: One flew over cuckoo's nest by Ken Kesey

Title:One flew over the cuckoo's nest
Author: Ken Kesey
Publisher: Penguin modern classics
Page: 320
Price: Rs 350
Source: Online
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Buy One flew over the cuckoo's nest from

Tyrannical Nurse Ratched rules her ward in an Oregon State mental hospital with a strict and unbending routine, unopposed by her patients, who remain cowed by mind-numbing medication and the threat of electric shock therapy. But her regime is disrupted by the arrival of McMurphy – the swaggering, fun-loving trickster with a devilish grin who resolves to oppose her rules on behalf of his fellow inmates. His struggle is seen through the eyes of Chief Bromden, a seemingly mute half-Indian patient who understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the powers that keep them imprisoned. Ken Kesey's extraordinary first novel is an exuberant, ribald and devastatingly honest portrayal of the boundaries between sanity and madness.

Set in a mental asylum , One flew over cuckoo's nest somehow transcends a  message that it is fun to be crazy.. The story moves through the eyes of Chief Bromden a schizophrenic pretending to be deaf and dumb so that he goes unnoticed by others.The somber mood swifts off as Randle McMurphy is admitted as the new inmate Mc Murphy chooses a life in hospital to that of the hard labor at the farm , he has many good and not so good things to his credit, he is a breeze of fun, breaking rules is his favourite pass time, he is also allegedly accused of raping a juvenile..McMurphy befriends other inmates just like that , he even  get intimate with many, he lights up the whole environment by means of gambling and many other activities, in short he becomes a ball of energy ..Though one may not agree with his actions, nonetheless all are entertaining..
Of course things doesn't go on in this jolly spirit especially when the whole hospital is supposedly under the strict regime of Ratched the chief nurse who runs the hospital with iron fist..I happily and instantly disliked her..Many a times Mc Murphy pushes his way playing around with Ratched.. But the problem is Mc Murphy can get into serious trouble as Ratched can get him lobotomized which is her extreme end of action towards patients..The problem is no matter Mc Murphy tries his way, the fact would be that he is a patient and Ratched being the nurse  gives her the upper hand over any situation and force him or any patient  for that matter  to go through any kind of medication in the name of therapy..Ratched does manages to keep McMurphy on check for few days...When Ratched almost thinks that everything is under her control things go hayward ..
Mc Murphy ways are bit off track, for example he carries cards that has sexual positions in place of kings, queen and jacks, he even smuggles  wine and finally get prostitutes into the hospital premises...He helps Billy (another inmate) with prostitutes company...This doesn;t go unnoticed by Ratched but what follows was something none could imagine, Ratched  itimitade Billy and he commits suicide, accuses Mc Murphy for his actions..Then on there is a situation of conflicts between Ratched and Mc Murphy finally one day Mc Murphy is taken to lobotomy ward and gets back to the ward in a vegetative state..Bromden unable to bear to watch him in this state kills him and relives him off the agony..Brombden escapes the hospital hikes a ride and set a new path towards his freedom...
Though McMurphy tries to breathe an air of happiness into the lives of inmates at the hospital , on a closer watch the book is a mix of gender bias and racial discrimination ..This might because of the era the tale was set in..Even when you don't agree with Ratched, there are instance when McMurphy works hard to prove  that Ratched is just a woman..
On a positive note, the novel explores the fine line between insanity and sanity and how people can be easily pushed to a state of so called of insanity by the surrounding and how seclusion can only aggravate the situation than help.
Kessey highlights on the liberation of mind invariably of the situations. Kessey has succeeds  in creating an image of hospital , ward, nurse and inmates just like one is watching a movie... I read somewhere that Kessey underwent an electroshock just to get the feel so that he could write about it better, now call that going extra mile on what you do...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Book Review:The home and the world by Rabindranath Tagore

Tittle: The home and the world
Author: Rabindranath Tagore
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780143031413
Price: Rs 350
Genre: Classics/ Indian writing
Source: Personal
Rating: 4 out of 5

There is nothing static, earthbound or lifeless about it . . . It has the complexity and tragic dimensions of Tagore's own time, and ours"-Anita Desai Set against the backdrop of the Partition of Bengal by the British in 1905, Home and the World (Ghare Baire) is the story of a young liberal-minded zamindar Nikhilesh, his educated and sensitive wife Bimala, and Nikhilesh's friend Sandip, a charismatic nationalist leader whom Bimala finds herself attracted to. A perceptive exposition of the difficulties surrounding women's emancipation in pre-modern India, and a telling portrayal of the chasms inherent in the nationalist movement, Home and the World has generated endless debate and discussion. This classic novel by Nobel Prize-winner Rabindranath Tagore, first published in Bengali in 1916, is now available in a lucid new translation.

Classics stand tall by the passing time for its richness and the grandeur of style and substance..That is why Leo Tolstoy's (Okay that's just one example)poetic prose appeals to me even now on a sunny afternoon anytime..
Nikhilesh aka Nikhil belongs to a high class as per social hierarchy of 1900's..His marriage to Bimala was arranged way back  when they were quite young for marriage.. As a homemaker she is dutiful, devoted to her house hold chores  treats her husband as god which is a result of her social upbringing and not kindled by her  self thinking and analysis..Things turns upside down when Sandip (Nikhil's friend) come to stay with them..Sandip is handsome, with a sense of appeal, he could play with words , he has the ability to attract any passer by with his charisma and above all he is an active member of Swadesi movement.  Swadesi movement was a part of India's struggle for Independence from British regime that spanned for  over a century...Swadeshi movement was the period when Bengal was partitioned by Lord Curzon in 1905 much to the disagreement of popular opinion, and the movement spanned over a period of six years..The novel  revolves around this period and set in Bengal..We can feel the pulse and the vibration of the movement throughout not only in the backdrop but also in the four main characters viz Nikhil, Bimala, Sandip and Amulya... 
That being said with Sandip coming to the picture the whole story gathers momentum and by the turn of events you get an idea of another triangle classic being staged soon in the story , well you might be partially right, but then "the home and the world" present it in a different flavour with a different seasoning with right amount of emotions and  right characterization that doesn't make it overboard.. Sandip with his idealism and zeal for the country captures Bimala's fancy and all her dormant emotions and passion for freedom of thoughts and life sprouts with beautiful shades .Their relationship blossoms barring the social restrictions taking the shade of attraction and lust..Surprisingly Nikhilesh frees her of all her familial bonds but alas that's when she realizes Sandip's core of ugliness that's been draped with the beautiful wrap of patriotism, dignity and nobility..She understands that his true ambition is to be a leader for his personal benefit  at the cost of others..He uses every single person in the walk of his life for his benefits and throw them later...Bimala then tries her way to save Amulya (who is a blind follower of Sandip) from the insignificant hands of Sandip...

The characters are not what they seem  in the beginning, for example Nikhil at the outset seem to be quite passive but as the novel progresses we get to know him better, he understand that his passiveness comes from the his ability to think deep weighing everything before acting.While Sandip who preaches great things with high ideologies turns out to be quite shallow..Bimala who has no much personal views transforms into independent free thinking women who realizes the need of women in the struggle for independence, though she is gullible to effervescence of Sandip,  she is quick to in her action to save Amulya falling into the Sandip's trap...
Nikhish is a character who is  too good to be true, Sandip's selfishness in the name of patriotism and idealism  makes the character not likable and Bimala is the mix of two with her mix of virtues combined with a mix of flaws.Tagore makes the novel with a combined flavour of lyrical prose and philosophical thoughts through the characters..The novel explores various conflicts one is that of idealism and falseness, the reality that freedom would bring about, awareness to that of neglectfulness to the changing scenario of the country. 
The book goes a step higher when each character describes his or her thoughts upon Swadesi movements and their own turmoil to keep up with the changes around them..The book also explores the not so good part of the freedom movements upon the lesser known set of individuals of the society.
This was the first Tagore's book I read outside my school syllabus, and I thoroughly enjoyed it..Originally written in Bengali the book is a translated version...
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