Reviewed for BecomeShakespeare Publication
Author: Digonta Bordoloi (Debut Author)
Publisher: BecomeShakespeare Publication (Self-Published)
My thanks to BecomeShakespeare Publication for the review copy of the book.
One of the fine books I’ve read in years!
The Little Boy, Baba
Slow is the story of Baba, a thoughtful little boy who does everything at his own slow pace. He was born a little late past nine months. While others might say he was slow, he says he didn’t care keeping time. That’s how the book begins. Up until the middle of the book, you will witness Baba’s childhood years sailing smooth though at times he faces small little struggles, so very unique to a little boy like him. Family, school, play, picnics, moving places, friends – all goes well till that unexpected event happens. I wish I could say what happens but I wouldn’t do justice by spilling the beans. The rest of the book takes a different turn where Baba brings out the mental unsettlements of the urban lives in contrast to the content rural lives. And also the lifestyles back in ’80s in contrast to that after three decades. It’s not just about the way of lives but also a reminder to all of us about where we are heading in our own lives – to check if we are hunting a target-less goal, unmindfully!
It’s new! That’s what at least the first few pages would make you feel because a little later, you’ve already read a few pages of it. Everything is detailed beyond one can imagine. Mentally, for me, India did not exist beyond West Bengal. But today I know how beautiful North East is! The author has done absolute justice to his native land!
Even at three and a half, Baba did not see a reason to walk; he enjoyed being on the ground with Lumba, their pet. Concerned, parents put him in a walker, which he calls a confinement. You will perfectly relate to the different feelings of the child and the parents through their first-person narrations. Yes, multiple characters narrate the story. Baba says what he feels when people call him slow. His mother says how she feels embarrassing to take him out in public. Though it will take you a few lines to catch who is narrating, it is fun! For some reason, the author switched to third-person narration at the latter part. I felt the first-person perspective could have been continued throughout.
It’s blended with every page! At some places, you will have to re-read the lines to pick up the hidden wit. And when it strikes, you might even laugh out loudly. What do you think an eight-year old will imagine when he reads the definitions of rape, sexual intercourse, orgasm and semen from Oxford English Dictionary? Probably, childhood is the only time all these can be linked with cute imaginations. His childhood grudges against his parrot-nosed friend, his wish to pee on their roof and many other scenes were wonderfully funny.
This book is a speed breaker for all those married to their corporate worlds, living life with the only motive to compete that one person, racing without knowing where the reach point is, searching relationships within flesh and skin, devoting the entire life to own that flat – in short, people who prefer to feed their lust, greed and pride rather their hearts and souls, in the name of climbing up the success ladder. (As you can see from the top right on the widget, this blog syncs with the book’s theme as well – Let’s Stop and Relaxe! Listen to Our Hearts! And Revive Our Souls!)
Especially if your childhood days were around ’70s and ’80s, you will know how lifestyles have changed in India over the years. On one side, we are making things that were impossible then, possible today. Ironically, we are also making things that were possible then, impossible today.
Baba wondered why some phones and computers were named after fruits. Maybe because they had become as important as eating? (Page 263)
He thought back over dream after dream that he had conquered. Yet once a dream became a reality it lost its gloss. That’s what dreams were! Dreams. (Page 277)
Read them again and you will understand what we are doing to ourselves.
Will Slow… impress all?
I doubt! If you love reading books at your own pace like Baba, read and re-read lines and merge with the scene before you would turn the page, this is the perfect book for you. It is a kind of book that needs to be dived into deeply. It demands the readers to sync with the author’s mind to get the subtle wisdom in it. If you are a hurry-burry reader who loves finishing books overnight, cannot withstand a little out-of-track description and impatient to see the depths between lines, beware, the title is a sure warning!
May be the world needs more Babas!
About the Author
Digonta Bordoloi was born and raised in the North East of India. In his early twenties, career dreams took him first to Delhi, then to Mumbai where he spent over a decade in high-level advertising. Escaping the corporate world, he landed up in Africa. After a year in Uganda, Digonta spent some time in Swaziland and Zanzibar, Tanzania, where he started writing this, his first novel. Digonta lives with his wife Susie. They call Australia and India home.
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