January 20, 2021

KITAAB

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Kitaab Review: Culling Mynahs and Crows by RK Biswas

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Kitaab’s fiction editor Monideepa Sahu reviews Culling Mynahs and Crows by RK Biswas (LiFi Publications, Rs 325, 476)

culling-mynahs-optThis intriguing story set in West Bengal during the 1980s, explores the decline of the region’s culture through the eyes of two strong, unusual women. The bulk of the narrative revolves around Agnirekha, the firebrand journalist and snobbish “pedigree pooch” from the metropolis of Calcutta, as Kolkata was called in those days. Agnirekha’s life intertwines in mysterious ways with that of Agnishikha, an innocent and beautiful girl from the obscure town of Bisrampur, who is caught up in the dangerous underbelly of the big, bad metropolis. These two mirror-image names have a deeper significance in the narrative. As the author explains, “The two women Agnirekha and Agnishikha are from very different backgrounds and appear to be dissimilar. They are in fact opposite sides of the same coin; somewhere in the book the narrator calls them daughters of fire.”

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