Monday, February 24, 2014

Fire on the Mountain - Anita Desai


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The novel 'The Fire on the Mountain' is a constant squabble between fiction and reality of life..One of the finest novelists of India,Anitha Desai has won the prestigious Sahitya Akademy award for this book..
Copyright A Homemaker's Utopia
The main character in the story,Nanda Kaul lives at Carignano,completely isolated and alone in the mountains of Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh)..Being fed up with her past busy life as Ex-Vice Chancellor's wife she so much longs for lonely life in peace..After fulfilling the responsibilities towards her family,she moves to Carignano after her husband's death and starts living there calmly..Her frozen heart starts melting with the undesirable visit of her great grand daughter Raka..To her amazement,Raka is so similar to her..Not any of her children were like that..On the other hand,Raka is too much in to herself  and ignores Nanda Kaul,wandering like a free bird in the mountains,enjoying nature..But Nanda Kaul strives to spend her time with her,wish to open up to her..But Raka doesn't like her great grand mother's company..She wants to explore the nature on her own..

Raka wanted only one thing-to be left alone and pursue her own secret life amongst the rocks and pines of Kasauli.If Nanda Kaul was a recluse out of vengeance for a long life of duty and obligation,her great grand daughter was a recluse by nature,by instinct.She had not arrived at this condition by a long route of rejection and sacrifice-she was born to it,simply.

Meanwhile Nanda's childhood friend Ila Das visits Carignano and Nanda feels more uncomfortable for intruding into her peaceful life..Now,the story further deals with the emotional aspects of the three different personalities who doesn't even slightly go out of their way,protecting their identities and shells in such odd company..

Fantasy and fairy tales had their place in life,she knew it so well.Why then did she tell the child the truth ? Who wanted truth ? Who could stand it ? Nobody.Not even herself. 

Why ,it's been a little bit of the past come alive.As if the past still existed here and I could simply come and visit it and have a cup of tea with it when I was tired of the present.

The author successfully presented the darker sides of life in a milder tone of tranquility..Nature lovers really enjoy this book because there are some beautiful illustrations about mountains of Kasauli..In the beginning,  this book makes you feel like,life is a wonderful journey if we choose nature as our companion..You'll fall in love with each and every line till then..Characterization and personality disorders of Ila Das also makes you smile sometimes..But slowly helplessness,vexation and bitter realities of life in those beautiful mountains take the front row and dilutes the beauty of the nature..I'm sure when you finish reading this book,your heart fill with bitterness and despair..I was spellbound by the author's narrating  style.Would love to read more books from her.I must say it is one of the best from a woman writer..Happy reading friends :-)

30 comments:

Shaivi said...

Nice review! Will read it soon!

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Sahivi,
Thanks a ton Shaivi :)

avirandom said...

Within 5 lines of your review, i had added it in my ever growing list of books. I like Anita's style of narration which is always honest to the character. I liked your style of review as well. Will keep an eye for this space in future.

Stay Blessed
Avinash

Ashok Jha said...

i always like conectivity with nature,i had been to kausani,its a lonely,very peaceful,good place for nature lover,your review about the book is very good.

Maniparna Sengupta Majumder said...

Nice review..increased my interest towards the book..will read it soon..:-)

Anita said...

Wow! Looks like a interesting read :)
Thanks for sharing, Nagini :)

Kevin Collins said...

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kevincollins1012 gmail.com

Ankur Anand said...

i liked the way you have reviewed it .. because generating one's interested is not an easy task which you have managed to pull off brilliantly !

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Avirandom,
Thank you so much for your precious feedback Avi..:-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Ashok Jha,
True..Thank you so much for stopping by :-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Maniparna,
Thank you so much for your lovely comment Maniparna :-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Anita,
Thank you so much for your precious comment Anita :-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Kevin collins,
Thanks Kevin :-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Ankur Anand,
Thank you so much buddy :-)

AmitAag said...

Great review...makes me feel like reading it soon!

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Amitaag,
Thank you so much Amit Jee :-)

Seepz said...

I think I read Anita Desai's In Custody a long while back. I am going to add this book to my reading list as well after your review.

Thanks for dropping by my blog. It means a lot.

Have a great day.

~ Seepz
Savoir Style

Barbara Fisher said...

This sounds truly beautiful, thank you for telling us about it.

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Seepz,
Thank you so much for the visit and comment :-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Barbara Fisher,
Thanks a ton Barbara :-)

Kokila Gupta said...

Nice review....i'll definitely like to read it..sounds like its going to be a catharsis.

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Kokila Guptha,
Yes.Thank you so much dear :-)

తృష్ణ said...

read this book in our degree final..
nature lurks and nanada's loneliness & despair really haunts..

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ తృష్ణ గారూ,
నందా కౌల్ వ్యక్తిత్వం/మనస్తత్వం ఎందుకో మనసుకి బాగా దగ్గరగా అనిపించింది అండీ..థాంక్ యు తృష్ణ గారూ :-)

Indrani said...

Nice review. Well done.

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Indrani,
Thanks a ton Indrani :-)

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

What a marvelous review. Hope the book is as interesting as your review :) Wonder where is this place Carignano? Purely fantasy ?

kri said...

This is one of the better books of Anita Desai. The army life in Kasuali is enchanting to the outsiders but then gets monotonous for the army wives with the sleepy hill station not having much in the form of entertainment. An apt review Nagainigaaru :)
Krishna Veni

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Ramakrishnan Ramanathan,
Carignano is just fictional name..Thank you so much Ramakrishnan Sir :-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Krishnaveni,
Thank you so much Krishna garu :-) Very happy to hear from you after a long time :-)