Artist Jayant Kripalani is used to bringing stories to life visually, be it in film, television, or theater. But he is also an author whose first book, New Market Tales, brought out nostalgia and history in full force. And now, his second book Cantilevered Tales, promises to bring reality to the fiction that we read. The story of everyday people and their quirks, Cantilevered Tales has a simple but attractive cover, and an even intriguing blurb.
I must admit I didn’t go into this one with a lot of hopes. [Sorry, Jayant Sir!] But when I did plunge into it, I was pleasantly surprised. There is simplicity in the way it is written, and in that simplicity lies beauty that is only enhanced by the humor and sarcasm.
Easy to read and enjoyable in numerous ways, Cantilevered Tales follows the story of Khokon Lahiri and the people around him, told from Khokon’s perspective. I finished reading this book in less than a day and I wish it had lasted longer. There is a joy that every page and every sentence in this book gives you – one that you can hardly measure. All you can do is smile.
At some points in the book, I laughed. At some, I smiled. At others, I flipped the pages in eagerness to know what would happen. The humor and the wit form a formidable story, and the breezy, beautiful language tops it off like layers and layers of artful cream on an equally tasty cake.
There are puns, there is a little swearing, there is surprise, there is warmth – and all of these blend well to give us a story that can be termed a little masterpiece in its own right. With its sociopolitical plotline, the story could have gone awry at any point. But it’s an ode to the author that it stayed firmly on track and ended up the way it did. I simply enjoyed my way through this beautiful, beautiful book.
However much I am in love with the book, there is something missing that makes me lop off a star. I just cannot put my finger on it. I love the book but I cannot commit myself completely. Does that make sense? I realize I sound like a commitment-phobic lover who runs at the first sign of increasing closeness. But I assure you, this is an absolute rarity. 😀
All in all, Cantilevered Tales, the story of a righteous bureaucrat and the people around him, and their quirks, is a must read if you’re looking for an easy, breezy story to entertain you on a hot summer’s day!
Rating: 4/5 stars
Picture Courtesy: Goodreads.