Title: Murmur of the Lonely Brook
Author: Debashis Dey
Release Date: November 1, 2012
Purchase: Amazon/ The Book Depository
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After marriage Nisha comes to a remote village near the mountainous Tibetan Border to lead a life among a nomadic clan who follow a simple lifestyle with customs and rituals dating back to ancient times.
Pravin is happy to marry Nisha, the girl of his choice. Nisha loves her husband but also enjoys the infatuation from his brother. She spends her days happily with a perpetually sad mother-in-law Parvati repenting on her past life sins, a short tempered Shevak, a love-stricken sister-in-law Ria, a kid goat munching everything, a lamb with a baritone bleat and her husband’s brother Diwakar lost in dreams.
Everything goes well until Nisha’s life is torn apart by a proposal, and assumed betrayal, by the one and only love of her life, her husband Pravin when he suggests common marriage, an ancient tradition still followed in this region in which both brothers share a single wife, Nisha. The family is supportive save Nisha who is horrified by the thought of sharing her love with someone for whom she has a brotherly affection.
She cannot protest or disagree as it will make her an outcast and the family will throw her away. Her universe crumbles and she feels humiliated and tormented with the new turn of events. As ancient ways confront modern mores, Nisha will be torn between her values and age-old customs in this brilliantly observed novel of ancestral folkways and contemporary families.
Will Nisha compromise her values… or will she fight the age old traditions?
For such an anti-climatic type of story where the pace is so much slower than what I am used to lately, it was so hard to put down. The author was so eloquent in writing about this small village in the Himalayas, the surroundings, it's residents and their challenges, that I had a difficult time not reading this through the night.
Ancient customs clash with modern values in this story. I may not be able to relate to this culture or their way of life, but I found it incredibly interesting to follow each character's journey in this little corner of the world.
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