Image captured by the author
I have read numerous books ever since childhood, be it the “Famous Five, “Goosebumps”, “Twins at St Clare’s”, “Nancy Drew Series”, “Asimat Jar Heral Seema”, to being addicted to the “Harry Potter Series” etc. at school. It has always been a joyride, travelling the imaginary world created by the authors. Even before school starts, I still remember finishing all the English language textbooks that contained interesting stories. Until today, I have read a great number of books, but sadly, I haven’t kept a count of them. I wish I had!
Nevertheless, since I own a blog now, I will try to keep a record of all the good books that I have come across and give my honest review about the same. So, starting with the first one.
The title of the book is “Keeping in Touch” by author Anjali Joseph. I happened to read about the author’s interview in a supplementary paper of “Assam Tribune” and it got me so fascinated, that immediately, I placed my order in #Flipkart and got it delivered within 10 days. Thanks, Flipkart.
In one simple sentence, you can say it’s a romantic tale of a couple that transcends territorial boundaries-backdrop in Assam (India) and London (UK). But, if you go deeper, it has more layers to it than just that. Along with romanticism, it infuses in it, the deeper emotional connect- the connection towards the state of Assam, the history behind its very existence, the love between the uncle and his niece, the challenge of settling in Assam for a UK based guy to seek his purpose and so on. The delicious Assamese cuisine and the Fokora Jujona (Assamese proverb and idioms) are the icings on the cake!
Keteki, the protagonist, is a lady in her 30s and residing in Assam. As I went about exploring her character, I found her resemblance to a butterfly, carefree-free spirited and transitioning from one place to another. Butterflies keep flying here and there searching for nectar, but Keteki keeps moving to and fro to escape from reality. For the fear of being attached to a living soul and get hurt in the process, she sought refuge in escaping without letting anyone know. At one point, she is at home, in Guwahati, next you find her in Jorhat and the very next in the UK and so on. She carries inside her a scar that was inflicted upon her by her own blood, so running away was the most viable option she finds rather than sticking around and finding a solution. But, amidst all this, she keeps herself together by following her passion.
Ved Ved, the UK based guy in 30 something, is the kind of man that every girl would be lucky to have. But, not until, he found Keteki. Earlier to that he had several flings but never a serious relationship. Whenever things would get serious, he ran away. He wasn’t ready for a lifelong commitment. He was so bad in breakups and the reason behind it that not one of his exes want to see his face later. But things took a turn when he met Keteki for the first time in Heathrow airport. And, with this, the story between the two unfolded.
On the pretext of a project about a bulb named “Lucifer”, he grabbed an opportunity to visit Assam. It was his idea to visit Assam and meet Keteki in her own place.
Joy Mama, Keteki’s uncle, is a man full of life. He remained a bachelor throughout his life. He looked after Keteki as his own child and acted as a shield when things turned messy for her during her childhood. So, Keteki holds a beautiful place for her Joy Mama. Joy Mama, on the other hand, was looked after by Tuku, an orphaned guy who was found by former and brought him home. Later, Tuku went absconding, the reason of which is still unclear though Joy Mama likes to believe he is in Majuli now with his newfound friends.
The relationship between Ved Ved and Joy Mama is a sweet one; their conversation, over a glass of whisky, will take you to the lane of old Assam, to give an idea to the readers about the history of the state. If that’s not enough, talks about Keteki also hold a deep meaning between the two. The two gentlemen shared a deeper connection, barring the age gap, and grew fond of each other with every passing day. It was easier for Ved to share his feelings for Keteki to Joy Mama than the lady herself. He found it difficult to keep pace with her fleeting mind, so in Joy Mama, he tried to find answers about Keteki’s opinion about him.
And, in between all this, you get a glimpse of Assam and Assamese people. As I already mentioned, Fokora jujona (Assamese idioms or proverbs) is another treat to the readers. The way Ved Ved tried to pronounce the same in his broken Assamese and decipher the meaning is quite amusing. I bet you will enjoy it as you get an essence of it.
Also, the author takes you, for a while, to the UK, to share an idea about Ved’s life there, as well as that of Keteki’s while she was studying.
Also, not to forget, Ved Ved’s shifted base from the UK to Assam to follow his heart, to know about Keteki in her motherland. He dared to leave the life of comfort and travel all the way to be in Assam just to know a girl. He was unsure about her feelings, but he was willing to take the risk. What could a girl ever want more?
In conclusion, I would only say that there are so much more than this and you can know all about it only if you delve into this unusual romantic tale. It has a lot on its plate to offer, so be a part of their journey!
It is an amazing tale, out of the ordinary but deeply connecting on an emotional level. Give it a try.
Thank you http://anjalijoseph.com/ for such a beautiful creation.