- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Vitasta Publishing Pvt.Ltd (1 August 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9380828314
- ISBN-13: 978-9380828312
- Package Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 1.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,68,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Piece Of The Giant Paperback – 1 Aug 2013
About the Author
Anupam Srivastava studied English at St Stephen's College, University of Delhi. He worked as a journalist with The Times of India before he moved to the development sector where he works in the field of communication.
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Top customer reviews
Storyline and Characterizations:
This is one story that stands apart and stands tall, kudos to the author for having the courage to write on a not-so-easy subject. This classic book presents an insight to India’s past following the thread of the present. The protagonist of the story Pratap is an extremely carefully thought of and well sketched character, his conviction and courage is mind boggling. This novel presents something that hasn’t been presented so far - The protagonist defaces the Rashtrapati Bhavan Dome with a provocative poetry , and it is presented in such a way that not once will you feel that the act is unjustified.
The story is set in Teekra, a kingdom near Lucknow, the then King of the place joins the freedom movement while his dissenting son leaves the palace, and subsequently he becomes a journalist in Delhi for ‘The Daily Bugle’, a small newspaper. The plot thickens when this King joins politics and becomes the cabinet minister in independent India’s government and is assigned the task to prepare a report for “decolonizing India” and “separating the democracy from the colony”. And therein lays the gripping secrets for the readers to discover. What strikes the most is the author’s analysis that Gandhi was fit only to be a portrait on the walls of free India, and reading the entire novel will make you realise that he is indeed true.
It is astounding that a subject fit for socio-political academic research could be transformed into such a powerful novel. The plot and the characters are superbly sketched and presented.
Pace of the Story:
The story though medium paced takes you in its grip right from the first page. There is not a dull moment and if anything the book only leaves you wanting for more. The novel has a magical power, its difficult to part ways with it and you will keep thinking and pondering long after you have finished reading the book. And yes be ready – your views on India’s past and on India’s leading politicians of the past will be transformed and reformed for good.
The writing is simple and the language subtle, which must have been a difficult task for the author since the novel deals with a very sensitive issue. The flow of the story is so beautiful that it takes you along with it almost making you a part of the plot and the characters.
Overall, This is a brilliant book and a must read for those who truly love reading. This one is for keeps, a superb book written on a subject we hear in news almost every day but never has anyone showed the courage to write a novel on the issue. One masterpiece!
It is an account of the colonial legacy that was preserved when the reins of power changed from the British – the white Sahebs to the Indians – the Brown Sahebs on 15th august 1947.
The origin of the legacy of ministerial berths and the perquisites that accompany them in the form of residences in the bungalows of Lutyen’s Delhi to the now infamous lal batti culture even after almost 60 plus ears of Indian Independence has been featured in minute detail.
As much as Anupam Srivastava attempts to take a near realistic account of the political power brokers of Delhi that assembled soon after the independence and the distancing of a dejecting and frail Gandhi, from active politics after the Indian independence, the very Gandhi whose mass appeal and power had been instrumental in gathering the momentum for the freedom struggle has been portrayed from the perspective of a fiery young journalist whose newspaper later ends up being the mouthpiece of the government when its editor Shyam Dubey sells the soul of his newspaper in exchange of a ministerial berth in the newly formed cabinet. No prizes for guessing who Shyam Dubey , Vidya Babu and his daughter Komal in real life could have been.
The emergence and re-emergence of AAP over the past few years espousing similar struggles and ideologies espoused by the protagonist of the novel Pratap makes one draw similarities between Arvind Kejrwal ‘s ( earlier) incarnation of the fiery rebel influenced by Anna HAzare. Mercifully though Kejriwal has not done spiderman like stunts walking the walls of red fort . His stunts seem far more realistic . Afterall he was the one known for his dharnas in Ram lila maidan at the slightest pretext. The novel traces the roots of why Indian politics is what it is today, as it shaped from the characters who influenced it from the pre Indian independence era.
If there is one thing one could fault Anupam Srivastava, the Author is for his storytelling style. The story has all the ingredients needed for a novel. Historical fiction, power struggle, young hero, love triangle, philandering power brokers and a flashback to present day climax
It almost feels like the author is terribly shy detailing emotions and relationships. The narration of the relationship building one between Malati – Pratap – Kavita could have been dealt with in better detail and sensitivity. The same holds good for the father –son relationship between the Raja and the prince – Pratap. The build-up of these relationships has been hastily rushed through or has been dealt with in a very matter-of-factly way.
The transition from journalistic and academic reporting to being a story teller is possibly what the author could have worked on before taking the manuscript to the publishers.
Power corrupts. That is the simple moral of the story. The universality of the story could have easily appealed to the world audience. Had the novel been slightly more ambitious and written keeping a broader section of audience, there would have been more detailing on various nuances that are so unique to India particularly to north India’s culture. The author assumes that the reader would be well aware of the context. The story is written with the naïve assumption that the reader is an Indian, is familiar with the past and present power politics of Delhi, understands the nuances that form an essential fabric of the caste/ class politics of the north Indian hinterland and has followed through the independence movements of India
Sometimes one wonders if the book has been hastily written keeping a very narrow section of audience in mind.
Overall it is a very good attempt in storytelling. Its success lies in the fact that it connects the dots of today s crass display of political power and its origins relating them to the incidents in history that have shaped the current power and political structure in India.
“They stopped looking for cattle and sat under a tree and talked more. Pratap noticed that it was close to sunset. They had not found the cattle - had not been even looking for them. She was glowing in the evening and he saw that the receding light was staying around her, delaying its withdrawal from the world so that it could be with her longer”.
Such vivid and perspicuous descriptions play on the senses as the story unfolds. The pages are filled with intrigue, distrust, mystery, love, passion, remorse and much more creating a right mix of complexity and the tension that the reader craves for. The novel is a page turner and completely washes over the reader.
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