Anon by Bhavani Iyer is a beautifully written story about two friends and their intersecting lives. Kolkata and Sunderbans form the background of the tale and the writing creates a vivid and visual scenario of that period.
The book is filled with allusions to known litterateurs and artists, successfully contextualising the aspirations of these two boys; Debottam, who writes for the joy of putting pen to paper and Urbish who wants to be recognised as the best. Their lives are a complete contrast to each other’s. One has crafted his life through sheer will while the other has created it through rebelliousness. The relationships and characters that pepper the lives of these two protagonists are crafted with as much care and depth so that they all come alive and grow with the story. The difficult father-son relationships are poignant. The women are appropriate counterfoils to these two men while provoking, inspiring and captivating them alternately. These characters stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.
The book is like a slow moving river with sudden whirlpools that suck you in only to throw you over a cliff and land on wet sands to hear the water gently lapping a little distance away. It is poetry in prose. It is also a movie waiting to be made.