Book Review: The Sacred Sorrow of Sparrows – A Collection of Lives

The Sacred Sorrow of Sparrows_05.12(1)The Sacred Sorrow of Sparrows is a strange title, you’d think. And yet the alliteration in the title beckons you, the cover enchants and the colours calm.

In his prelude to The Sacred Sorrow of Sparrows, Siddharth Dasgupta sets out his intent — “These aren’t particularly sad stories. At least they weren’t meant to be….”

The 10 stories in the collection speak of love, loss and fear. In the story, In Symphonies We Flow, Dasgupta speaks of several kinds of sorrows — poetic sorrow, nostalgic sorrow, ravaged sorrow, tempestuous sorrow, inevitable sorrow, drunken sorrow and, the most compelling of all — divine sorrow. But there is also, in the stories, freedom from sorrow, which is a form of healing. This is what makes the book a compelling read.

The stories are set in Afghanistan, India, Japan and Turkey, and the writer delights with descriptions of the cultures and the peoples. He seems to know the cities intimately and captures their pulse accurately. For instance, Tokyo, in the story, One Deep Sleep, is called “a mad undercurrent of deference and defiance”; In Symphonies We Flow, set in Istanbul, Dasgupta writes about “the recognition and realisation of the overpowering melancholy that grips the city”; while India is described as “the high definition, surround sound ambient — abstract country”. Read more

Source: DNA India

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