SHAMSUDDIN’S GRAVE
BY
PAROMITA GOSWAMI

 

BLURB
Latika’s wrecked personal front leaves her completely shattered. So when her ailing father reveals his desire to go back home, she doesn’t think twice and moves to her hometown. She joins an NGO and comes across a teenager rape victim. Much against her TL, Debjyoti’s wish she sets out to trace the girl with Shamsuddin’s help. Will she succeed or end up in big trouble?
 
Shamsuddin, a daily labourer, somehow manages to thrive in the city. Meanwhile, flood devastates his house in the village. His family takes refuge in a relative’s place where his wife has a tough time resisting to the advances of her brother-in-law. Can Shamsuddin arrange for an accommodation before it is too late? 
 
Set in Guwahati amid the backdrop of flood and ethnic turmoil, “Shamsuddin’s Grave”, is the story of migration towards big cities for a better life.
 

Review: Shamsuddin’s Grave is a story told with lots of emotions and love. It is a story which deals with the plight of homeless people in the north east state of Assam. The story deals with people and their emotions and it is what caught my attention first which made me to read the book.

 

The story shows how caste and religion matters when it comes to extremely poor people and how are they used and abused by people with power in their hands. Shamsuddin is a person who has lost everything in floods and tries extremely hard to make ends meet. His only dream is to own a house and unite with his family. On the other hand, Latika is a woman with modern thoughts, battling her own setbacks. The two meet and a bond develops between them over time. A case of teenage rape victim comes across Latika and the NGO she works for and she is determined to solve the case and help the victim with Shamsuddin’s help.

 

The story feels real. It shows what is exactly happening in some interiors of our country. It depicts the sad state of affairs when it comes to homeless people. The two characters, Shamsuddin and Latika are poles apart when it comes to thinking and education, and they are nicely brought out. This contrasting characters is what made me hooked to the book. Also, I loved the ending. The simple narration hits hard at the right places and pinches you.

 

Although, the narration is good, it could have been tight. At times, I felt the lack of editing hamper a good narration and the story. Elimination of few typos, grammar and editing check could have helped the story, but it still is a wonderful one time read. I say one time because of the heaviness of the topic.

 

Overall: Shamsuddin’s Grave is a brave attempt by the author to put forth the plight of homeless people and the author succeeds at it.

 

 
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Read an excerpt


It was 2.00 a.m. in the morning and Kalapahar woke up to the cries of people. People didn’t know what was going on. There was no electricity and all they heard were the cries of women, children and men for help. Stampede of people running across the roads towards the uphill area shouting for help. 
 Latika too woke up hearing the cries. She switched on her night lamp but there was no electricity. She stepped down from her bed and landed into knee deep water soaking her pyjamas. Terrified, she reached for the torch on the night table and switched it on. She was traumatized to find her room flooded. The water level almost reached her bed wetting the mattress. She didn’t waste time and waded through the water to check on her father’s room. It was similar situation there too, with the only difference that the old man was sound asleep due to medication. She woke him up and went to check the other rooms. 
It was similar sight all around. Dining chairs, gas cylinder, utensils, tables everything floating across the rooms. She turned off all the switches and whatever valuables she could lay her hand upon, she collected in a bag. Then she pulled a chair on top of her father’s bed and made the old man sit on it with the bag. She checked the water level outside through the glass window with the hope of evacuating the house. But it was worse and riskier to wander out with an old man in flood water at night. She knew she could not make it. 
Help was unreachable as of now, as everyone was fending for themselves. She heard the neighbors crying for help but no one listened. Even the cell phone network was jammed. She knew she could not do anything but wait. At last she pulled a chair on the bed and sat down beside her father clenching his hands in hers. Both prayed eagerly for all this to be over. 



About the author

 

Paromita Goswami
 
A nomad at heart and a rebel by choice is the best way to describe her. Paromita Goswami had always believed in making her own path. She says life is full of stories that are waiting to be told. 
 
Author of Shamsuddin’s Grave, published in 2015, an offbeat social drama based on critical social issue, Paromita Goswami loves to write about life and relationships. She has written many short stories for online magazines. Her upcoming works are, Grow Up Messy, is a humorous collection of short stories of a mischievous five year old girl. The book is a ride down the childhood days.  It was part of blogging challenge, #atozchallenge2016 and second is The Jungle Series, a collection of short stories #paranormal, based on the jungles of Chhattisgarh.
 
Besides writing she is also the founder of Raipur Little Minds Book Reading Club that has a major objective of developing the book reading habit in children. She is also the founder of Book Studios that makes book trailer, book covers and banners. Making travel documentary is her other passion.
 
Paromita is married and lives in Raipur with her family including her pet cat and dogs.  She loves to connect with her readers and can be easily traced on all social media sites.
 
You can stalk her @
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