- Paperback: 152 pages
- Publisher: Cyberwit.net; 1st ed edition (21 July 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8182534127
- ISBN-13: 978-8182534124
- Package Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 1.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,61,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tall Man Small Shadow Paperback – 21 Jul 2013
About the Author
Vipin Behari Goyal is a Financial Advisor in Government of Rajasthan by profession. His love for books is unparalleled making him an avid reader as well as a prolific writer. His prior writings include a travel handbook on TirthRaj Pushkar and a collection of Hindi poems titled Tej Dhoop Ka Safar . He has also dabbled in documentary film making and is the maker of award-winning short film Mines are Mine .
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Top customer reviews
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Finally recommended to all my friends!!
May they be like isolated pearls, but an invisible thread has sewn them together in a beautiful garland. We do not have any particular name for that thread-may it be destiny, may it be coincidences, and may it be circumstances. But new relations are being made and old relations are taking a new meaning-like shaping up of the course of river throughout the whole story. Complex human relations are given an altogether new dimension in this work of fiction.
The story is narrated from the perspective of all the five players of the play who have their entries and their exists in this stage called life. This gives a unique voice to the whole story.
Towards the end of the novel came the startling revelation-was there any mastermind who have cunningly calculated all the probabilities and drifted the course of events to draw the beautiful mosaic pattern of life? Or is it merely coincidence? The strong narrative and style of the writer makes the reader encounter the ultimate truth of life.
A truth that makes us realizes how insignificant our play moves are to the silent child who plays with this whole universe.
Who has the power to make ‘meaningless’ to ‘meaningful’!
It’s an absorbing read which should be read to discover the true meaning of one wonderful word.
The word that is called life!
It's the most thoughtful piece of fiction I've read in ages. Short on dialogue and long on thoughts. The narrator/main character is a family man, husband of the chronically unwell Sulekha and father of the young, intelligent and marriageable Aalya. The main character (hereafter designated 'the MC') doesn't introduce himself and we only come to learn his name towards the end. So I'd rather not reveal his name to potential readers.
It's not an excessively long read at 150 or so pages, but it's not the sort of read you devour in a free afternoon either. Well, it wasn't for me. I had to stop reading every so often to digest the story. Not that I didn't find it an enjoyable read. I did. It just gave me a lot to think about.
The 'tall man' is an enigmatic young man who has just moved into the MC's neighbourhood, This young man, Salil, arouses the interest of various people in the neighbourhood. The MC visits him with a parcel which has been left by a courier at the wrong house (his). He discovers on his visit that the young man reads books by such worthy writers as Nietzsche, revealing himself to be a thoughtful reader, interested in philosophy. The MC's daughter Aalya also develops an interest in the new neighbour, as does the MC's wife, Sulekha. Salil himself is, naturally, attracted to Aalya, taking an enormous interest in her shadow. He seems to covet it for some reason. I thought we were going into the areas of magic realism here, But the book didn't ultimately seem to do that, so maybe I had a perception of the novel which wasn't quite what the author had intended.
The MC contemplates various matters, such as the nature of truth and why suicide is an offence under the Indian Penal Code. After all, one's life is one's own,so why should trying to throw it away be considered an offence? The MC and the chronically ill Sulekha watch over their daughter protectively, supervising her interactions with Salil. The story, however, takes on a different aspect when young Aalya, on studying for her doctoral thesis, gets into a very intimate, almost sexual relationship with her professor, a childless, married woman named Seema. Seema seems to have been affected by the sterility of her marriage to a man involved in the creative arts and tends to prey on her young students.
I'm not sure if this piece of fiction could be classified as LGBT literature. Seema, although displaying bisexual tendencies, is not exactly a paid up member of the LGBT community, she's more of a closet member, with somewhat predatory tendencies. The relationship, from Aalya's side at least, is a pure, loving admiration, as relationships between students and teachers so often are in a culture which reveres education. It doesn't seem to get in the way of her growing relationship with Salil. Seema has access to the young and attractive Aalya because her father and the MC were once comrades in a communist party group. The MC and his ailing Sulekha may suspect something is amiss with the guru/chela (student/teacher) relationship, but in my humble opinion, they're far more tolerant of it than most western parents would tend to be.
The wheel turns in a full circle and in the spirit of karma, the characters sow as they reap. The ending of the story could be described as satisfying, with tradition winning out in the end. As it usually does in India.
I had a few issues with the novel. The author jumped from first person to third person and back again many times. Although the MC is the main character through whose eyes the story is seen, there are things happening to which he could not possibly be a party. Like the scenes of intimacy between his daughter and the professor, for example. I found it a little incongruous to read a male voice describing a totally female experience. There are some grammatical feats which I had to stop short of describing as errors. It is merely English as it is spoken by Indian people and as such, a language all of its own. Indian English is generally very pleasing and enjoyable to read.
All in all, an enjoyable and satisfying read which teaches a few lessons along the way.
The book is available in both print and virtual form. I received a copy of the book from the author in return for an honest review.
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