Political fiction ideally tries to uncover the intricacies behind a complex political problem.Layers of humanity that is ever present in any problem that seems to be unsolvable.As we digest endless punditry from our news media on problems like Kashmir or North east we tend to understand things in abstract .
P.A Krishnan’s muddy river tries to unravel the layers of humanity under all our skins .
Set in the backdrop of assameese insurgency , a honest official tries to rescue a kidnapped coworker from an assam based terrorist group .
The novel has an interesting form , wherein Ramesh Chandran senior beuracrat writes a novel on his effore to rescue the kidnapped coworker Mr.Ghosh . Muddy river flows through the manuscripts of novel written by Ramesh shared by Sukanya, Ramesh’s wife to his friends who are themselves part of the novel .
The language of the novel is easier and the form adds a taught narrative with interesting incidents.
One cannot stop wondering at the difference in reality and the one we perceive as reality from what we see in news media in understanding political problems . Ramesh one of a honest bureaucrat , the frustrations of his endeavour to rescue Ghosh . We feel the anguish at Ramesh’s culdesac’s , his honest and at times his bull dog like approach is inspiring .
The novel is emotional especially when Ramesh thinks about her daughter Priya’s loss.The deep vibrations a husband and wife share after the loss of a loved one , especially the guilt in facing life as such .Yet Love is visible between the two , as the writer has put it aptly there is love that is felt through silence .
Gandhi is evidently visible throughout the book . The conversation that Anupama and Sukanya have through the novel reminds the absurdity of grouping people . If we are ever to be a group , every individual is a group in itself so different to lump together .
There are some amazing character shades that are original to the book , especially that of Ramesh.The marxist turned Gandhian , (I think this is true to many of us 🙂 ) honest and ever trying to make a meaningful life out of a corrupt society . He seems to have lost hope in humanity , sounds dejected and yet tries so hard to perform his karma . As one ages I guess there is no other way other than being a Karmayogi just try to do your karma .
Sukanya , Ramesh’s wife she comments on her husbands novel time and again . She initially feels let down that she is not a big character in the novel . I think Ramesh’s inspiration comes from her , remainded me of som many of our mothers who toil so hard yet are so simple and plain .
Anupama was very mysterious and the finale made her even more intriguing . I am still thinking about her and the relation Ramesh had with her .
The high point of the novel its the hope it carries and inspite of being to handle people who lack even a iota of truthfulness day in and day out . Ramesh is sans cynicism , finds inspiration in reading Gandhi’s talisman tries to be sincere to his beliefs and hope for change . I feel it may not be the greatest of ways to bring about a change , but its the least destructive we can afford .
The dreams I had when I was eighteen , of a Marxist revolution seems a long time now .