Book Reviews

Ghachar Ghochar | Vivek Shanbhag | Book Review

  • Author: Vivek Shanbhag, translated by Srinath Perur
  • Ebook: 124 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial; 1 edition (4 January 2016)
  • Language: English

Book Review

Ghachar Ghochar – a quaint word with absurd structure, meaning entangled, remains a secret of a select few, describes the reality just so aptly.

I have always been reluctant to pick translated books. This for a simple reason for missing out on the quintessential essence of any literary work. Although this had been a baseless notion, I have borne a brief that a story loses its meaning in the process of translation. The intent loosens the fragility of intent breaks, and I experience a certain inexplicable fear if its originality would ever find its way to me.

Ghachar Ghochar is a novella bringing alive the mundane activities of an Indian family that has transitioned from a poor to a wealthy household. The book meticulously touches upon the effects of the swelling pride owing to increasing money. It does not hesitate to put forth the truth. Not even a bit. And with its rich narrative and warm presence, the book strikes just the right chord.

I am glad to have read it after a long period of procrastination. This book was worth every bit of wait and time. I was thoroughly invested in the book as Shanbhag builds the plot, weaves his realistic characters, and seeps into our minds with a story so raw and genuine. With a no-nonsense narrative and devoid of grand descriptions, Ghachar Ghochar takes us on a ride of the transformation of a typical middle-class family. The family is hesitant to talk about its overnight change and it shows up when any intruder encroaches in their territory – be it ants or the humans.

Shanbhag picks up the story and lets it oscillate back and forth between the past and present smoothly. With the simplest of words and expressions, he creates magic leaving an everlasting impact. The depth of characters as they go around their daily activities is mesmerizing, to say the best. I am still reeling under the effect of its ending. What did that mean, really?

Have you read this book? If yes, please share your thoughts.


Buy your copy: Ghachar Ghochar

4 thoughts on “Ghachar Ghochar | Vivek Shanbhag | Book Review

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