by Anurag Batra
Fall Winter Collections (Niyogi Books, 2015) by Koral Dasgupta has a style about it that is unique. Dasgupta’s entry into fiction writing is as unique and smooth as the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore. The book is simple, yet poetic; and being set in Shantiniketan, it is very Bengali.
The two protagonists, Sanghamitra Banerjee and Aniruddh Jain Solanki are so real that you almost believe that it is a non-fiction story written as fiction. The protagonists being depicted as real and human is a real win for the writer. The reader wants to meet the protagonists, as both seem talented, unique and flawless in their own ways.
The two protagonists are attracted to each other, as both are lonely and seek fulfillment, and that manifests itself as a relationship. Both have been chasing their dreams, yet running from something. Both have gifts that have blossomed, but need appreciation. In some ways, Fall Winter Collections is a commentary on how contemporary society treats individuals and how everyone needs redemption through love.
Sample this: “She comes to me in rhythms and all iterations like beautiful, free flowing poetry. I feel there is a soft music about her presence.”
The romance is very well captured as the inter-play between two souls who share more in common than what appears at first. This book will make one nostalgic as it reminds one of one’s own vulnerability and relationships, and every individual’s quest for fulfillment in relationships.
Fall Winter Collections is a poetic, simple, elegant fiction masterpiece and is akin to a silver necklace that is perfect and elegant. Its real strength lies in how well one can relate to the circumstances and the narrative. The poetry, conversations and the normalness of situations in this novel make it an engrossing and easy read.
With this book, the author has transitioned beautifully from writing non-fiction to fiction. It transports the reader to Shantiniketan, almost persuading the reader to pack his or her bags and go there to meet the protagonists.