How wonderful it is to be able to write someone a letter! To feel like conveying your thoughts to a person, to sit at your desk and pick up a pen, to put your thoughts into words like this is truly marvelous. – Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
The Other Side of the Table written by Madhumita Mukherjee is in a letter-writing format where the conversation is done through exchanging letters. Where the letters are exchanged between Abhi who is a neurosurgeon in London and Uma who is practicing medicine in Kolkata.
The story described through letters is basically a set up of medical background in two different cities and continents and also describes the hardship faced by women in a medical background and in spite of gender discrimination how a woman strives to be successful and create her own identity with a precise planning and hard work!
The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity. – Walt Whitman
The letters exchanged between them is so full of emotions, dreams, happiness, desires, expectations, achieving success, blooming and bonding of a wonderful friendship across oceans; it makes you imagine it while reading as if you are physically present in that moment over there and it grips you till the end.
There is also hardship, sinking feelings, heartbreaks, sadness described in such a lucid manner that you would never have expected that a story like this can be described through letters. Overall it is a wonderful book with a beautiful story.
Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see. – C. S. Lewis
Yet another novel written in a letter form. The Other Side of the Table is not any romantic story, instead it talks about ladder of success, being the boss, being on the other side of the table.
This novel is about Uma, a Calcutta National Medical College student and her pen friend, Abhimanyu, a.k.a, Abhi, a medical resident student at London. It starts off with Uma's letter in which she shares her admission to the city's most elite college to Abhi. They share everything under the sun, their love-life, crushes, teachers, professors, classes, marriage, pregnancy, first-kiss, first love-making, and many more. Whatever was happening in their lives, they promptly shared with each other. We see no romantic connection between them for the whole book. Although they had an age-gap of 10 years, yet we can feel their chemistry, and mentally wanting something more to happen between them. And we get the surprise in the last few letters when Uma mentions in her letter that she was coming to live with Abhi at London. But the author didn't pour any more details further that, it was left to the readers imagination and I liked it a lot.
This novel is purely based on friendship between two pen friends, sharing every emotions of their life with each other. Although it's Madhumita Mukherjee's debut novel, this story is certainly going to be etched in our hearts forever. This novel pays a tribute to the medical science and the field of surgery and also how women, who take up surgery for their practice, gets criticized. Although we don't get to know much about these two characters, but still Uma and Abhi have managed to made their mark in the readers' mind in a very beautiful way. This book ends off on the note that they both have managed to succeed to the other side of the table and hence the title gets aptly justified.