Sunday, August 25, 2013

Review: Ababar Yadi Ichchha Koro (আবার যদি ইচ্ছা কর) by Narayan Sanyal

How I Came to Know About This Book: I got it as a prize in school.

Format of The Book: Paperback

Genre: Biographical Fiction

Length of The Book: 126 pages

A Short Synopsis: It is basically the story of two famous painters, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, but the author describes their lives in Indian background naming them Chandravan Gorg (who was later baptized to Christianity and named Vincent Van Gorg) and Gaganbihari Paul (who would call himself Paul Gauguin). Quite obviously he had to change some of the incidents of the lives of the original painters and add some to make them realistic. 
It is an extremely interesting read from the beginning till the end. Their childhood, how their lives took turn and they decided to become painters-everything is portrayed brilliantly, the narration is simple yet beautiful! Interesting thing is that none of their paintings were sold during their lifetime (though one of Vincent's was sold, he was unaware of it). The last few years of their lives were pretty tragic.

Characters of The Book: Naren (the narrater), Daipayan Lahiri, Chandravan Gorg, Gaganbihari Paul, Batukeshwar Dutta and other subsidiary characters.

My Review: After reading "Biswasghatak" and "Aantarleena" I fell in love with Narayan Sanyal's writings. His versatility, the ease with which he writes about widely varying subject matters left me spellbound. And this book had completely different story line from the other two books I've read, so, as soon as I got the book, I grabbed it and finished reading within an hour or so.

Initially, I wasn't very sure whether I'm going to like this book as much as the previous two since the genre, biographical fiction that is, was not something I prefer reading too much. But once I began reading, I didn't even realize when I was dragged into the story, immersed into the lives of the characters. The way the author has portrayed the lives of the two great painters in Indian, or to be precise, in Bengal's background, it never felt unreal- not a single time.

The best part of the book, for me, was the time Vincent (i.e., Chandravan Gorg) spent in the coaliary (coal mine area). His involvement with the common people there was heart-warming. And after several failures and betrayal he faced, how his will for painting grew eventually was described beautifully. The man whose life is so full of tragedies, died a tragic death as well. And this part of the book left me in tears.

On the contrary, I wasn't much admirable about the life of Paul Gauguin(Ganganbihari Paul). His art forms, paintings(especially the one he draw at the slum was amazing) were no doubt immensely valuable, but I failed to adore him as a person. The facts that he deprived his own family, betrayed his friend Batukeshwar and his wife Sulekha (who happened to save his life when he was almost dead and cheated on her own husband to be with Gauguin), can't be ignored just because he excelled in his art. Or at least, I couldn't ignore those things. Though he died a pathetic and suffering death, I somehow didn't feel much pity for him.

Beyond doubt, this is one of the masterpieces created by Narayan Sanyal and I love this book. I'd definitely recommend it for everybody, even to those readers who doesn't like reading Biographies because I'm sure they'll love it equally as I did.  

(P.S.- I'm not aware of the lives of the two extremely famous painters, hence, my review is purely based on what the book describes about their lives.)


My Reaction:


  1. Just want to mention a few things about Gauguin. In my view, his character has quite a different shade. People like him are too rare to be understood and judged properly. His character had made me judgmental towards him, and I liked that carefree, seemingly indifferent painter without trying to know whether his deeds were right or wrong. He was justifiably termed as a 'jawan' by the saint mentioned. Surely, he was a 'jawan' in comparison to five other people, he was indeed different from the rest. His wife, the educated, intelligent, Shanta devi could understand her husband and since she really knew what Gagan actually was, did never lodge a complain against him even when he left her for no reason. Again, Batuk could estimate his friend's talent, and so he did every possible thing for Gagan even though he had to pay enough for it. These two characters show that Gauguin is probably not be judged by normal aspects. That's it. And finally, I am sure your piece of writing would ignite many to keep this wonderful creation in their collection. :-)

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    Many thanks and all the best. Look forward to reading.


    1. Thank you, first of all.
      And I followed you as well. :)