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Autumn Leaves: Seasons of Life Paperback – Import, 13 Jun 2018
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About the Author
G. S. Subbu, in his third book 'Autumn Leaves', explores the reality of human existence whether it is aging and loneliness, infatuation and love, or finding an authenticity in one's life through a synthesis of the opposing forces within oneself. He relies on simple language to get across his deeply philosophical meditations to the reader. He goes back and forth from the present to the past and back to the present, avoiding the monotony of a straight narrative to keep the reader engrossed.An engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, by qualification and a banker by profession, he retired from the State Bank of India in the year 2010 and settled down in Chennai. His two previous books are 'I am just An Ordinary Man' and 'Darkness and Beyond - A Medley of Many Lives'. He regularly writes in his blog 'Sublimation'.
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I usually skip Introduction and Preface, but I read in this book - it provides insight into the author's mind. Don't miss reading it.
About Autumn Leaves:
The first of the three stories - Autumn Leaves spans four generations and is divided, rightly so, in four parts
1. Autumn Leaves
2. Winter Chill
3. A New Beginning
4. Summer Heat
It is a simple story without any twists but has a lot to learn from and contemplate on. It is a story of ordinary people like you and me. What happens to the characters, what they go through, their quest to find themselves, it could happen to any of us.
The language is simple and so is the plot. The story flow oscillates between past and present; author has provided explanation for the same in introduction.
Even though the author uses '***' to separate scenes, I feel that the jump from past to present, change of character perceptive becomes confusing at times.
There's one character's perspective that seems forcefully introduced - only a small part in a small chapter. It should have been excluded or elaborated on.
From the book:
"Autumn symbolizes a time of self-reflection. It is also the transition from light to darkness like twilight when day slowly melts away into the darkness but not before revealing the resplendency of the setting sun. It is also a period of contemplation and accepting impermanence."
It's a simple story of Love that deals with the protagonists struggle of letting go of the past. Once again, the story moves back and forth from present to past and back to the present.
I understand that it is author's style of writing to concentrate more on the philosophy of relationships but I would have loved to read more about the emotions of the parties involved in the relationship.
It is a story of two friends who stay bonded despite their different approach towards life. The theme of 'present to past to present' continues in this story as well. The time jump is less confusing in this story.
Atulya, one of the protagonists in this story goes on a journey in search of meaning of life just like one of the protagonists in the first story of the book.
If you are looking for a light read, this is not the book for you. This book is for deep understanding and contemplation. The stories, in themselves, are simple but they carry a deep meaning and fodder for thought. Author's experience that comes with age and self-reflection shines through in this book.
For some it might seem to be too philosophical but it is good to read such a book once in a while.
" Autumn Leaves by G.S.Subbu is an eminently readable book. It comprises of three short stories. The first one covers four generations of a south Indian Brahmin family. Here the author nicely brings out the changes undergone on the concept of family over four generations and how each generation copes up with these changes maintaining its integrity and continuity. The story unfolds as the recollections of one of the characters as he looks back in the autumn of his life. The characters in the story are simple people who could be any of your neighbors. Through these characters, Subbu conveys the meaning of relationships and their centrality in one’s existence.
The second one is the story of Aparajit, a middle aged senior executive of a multinational company who is going through life aimlessly held back by his memories of a lost love affair. His chance encounter with a French woman, Amora on the beach at Mahabalipuram gives him a new understanding of life which enables him to let go of the painful memories and start life afresh. The author narrates the story with deep understanding as felt by Aparajit in his autumn of life.
The third story is that of Atulya Agarwal whose brilliant exuberant self-centered life takes a complete U turn making him turn his back on his love affair in search a deeper meaning of existence. The story unfolds touchingly through the narration by his close friend and confidant Amol Bhattacharya. Subbu has beautifully brought out the emotional turmoil and deep desire of Atulya to make sense out of his life. Although the story ends in the tragic death of Atulya, it is in a way is the culmination of his desire to rise above the chaotic duality of the existence.
Going through these stories, one admires the consummate craftsmanship of the author to convey the subtle emotions of the characters with rare brevity. He has used the technique of flash back to keep the reader absorbed in the story. All in all, this book is a real treat for those who don’t want confine themselves with light reading. ""