Wednesday, February 18, 2015

There was no one at the Bus Stop by Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay

Rating: 2.5/5
Finished On: February 8th 2015

Edition Details:
Format : Paperback
Page count : 121
Publisher : Penguin Books
Translator : Arunava Sinha




First Sentence:
As he was about to leave his room, sleep still clinging to his eyes, Robi gingerly parted the curtains leading to the next room and saw his father.

'There was no one at the bus stop' is the story set in 1970's Calcutta. Trina is married to Sachin but she's not happy in her marriage.She thinks she's not given much importance in her family. She's also carrying out an affair with Debasish. Her family is aware of it. They don't say a word to her but punish her in their own ways. Her husband ignores her and her children shun her presence.
One day Trina decides to leave the family for good and stop living this lie. Will she be able to cut the bonds with her family?
On the other hand there is Debashish. Debashish's wife Chandana committed suicide and he thinks it was due to his affair with Trina. He has a son who seems distant to him and who likes to live away from him. Will he support Trina's decision?

What will happen to lives of these two broken people? Will they find happiness in each other?



The book was an okay read. The backcover of the book said it deals with the reasons why the relationships move far apart and eventually break. But i didn't thought the story conveyed that properly. Trina was in a marriage which made her think that her husband didn't care for her much. When Sachin comes to know about her affair, he hits her. Trina should have been apalled or angry but she's happy as she thinks that it was the only time when Sachin had shown some passion towards her.
'Sachin had hit her sometime ago. That must be the only time in his life he had stumbled. He probably hadn't felt any emotion for Trina at any other time. Why was that assault of his a happy memory of her!'

Reading the above line can make the reader conclude that Trina was in a passionless marriage and in such a marriage having an affair was inevitable. But then as one comes to know Trina well, he knows that Trina can't he happy with any man.

Debashish did not love his wife. And Sachin did not love Trina. Or, that is what Trina's imaginative mind assumed. It was not untrue that Trina was quite happy to assume that Sachin did not love her, that Reba did not love her, that Manu did not love her. That no one in the world loved her. That she was alone, miserable. Whether that sadness had any basis or not, she liked to think that that was how she was. This sadness was what gave her a kind of romantic pleasure. The thought of sadness, or the sadness of thought, is very delicious for some people.

So, Trina in the whole novel appears whiny and indecisive. Sachin felt pity for her but i couldn't even feel that. She was exasperating all the time and most of the time appeared as an attention seeker. I think that was the only reason why she initiated the affair. And that was the only reason why she wanted to leave the family.

Listen, Trina, we haven't telephone Sachin yet.
Later.
By now they must be wondering where you are. Why make them worry unnecessarily?
Let them. Let them worry. They never do.

Debashish on the other hand was a playboy and had many affairs. He had affair with Trina because he could.

Debashish got wind of that. Just as he had identified all the damaged, broken and weak spots in the house and repaired them, so too did he easily spot Trina's specific vulnerability. But he didn't repair it, he only weakened it further.

He is now haunted by the guilt that his wife committed suicide due to his affair. Also, he's afraid that his son is going farther away from him and blames him for his mother's fate. It's in Trina he finds a solace because he has no one to call his own now. Although, he appeared a little more mature than Trina.

The story occurs in the period of twelve hours. It's a thin book and I could complete the book in a single sitting. It's not that the story was bad or something  but i could not feel connected to Trina. So, the book was okay but not that great. I think my expectations were much higher. I had read 'It rained all night' by Buddhadev Bose and that book also tackled infidelity in the marriage. I think 'It rained all night'  is great and was expecting 'There was no one at the Bus Stop' to be along the same lines as this also tackles the same subject. But 'There was no one at the Bus Stop' lacked the depth that was present in 'It Rained all night'. Anyways i'll be reading other works by Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay.

This book can be read one time.

If you want to read the book you can get this book from the following link:
Amazon
Kindle


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