Book– Odyssey Of A Postmaster
Author– Debaprasad Mukherjee
Previous Works– Boltu, Familiar Faces And Less Familiar Stories
Author Contact– email@example.com
Publishers– Inspire India Publishers
Number Of Pages– 243
The skinny, bare bodied boy of an East Bengal village is willing to do whatever it takes to visit the newest entertainment buzz; motion picture. The passion is pursued in later life with whatever be it: carrying cash of bank in the oddest possible manner, escaping disguised in the coal-heap of an engine from an alienated land, rearing tiger cub in Orissa forest, finding moorings in a hitherto unknown land, and……giving shape to a goal……not cherished by many. Obstacles, barriers are ways of life; let them come. What matters is the satisfaction at the end of the day. That is Sanjoy for you; the Ulysses, or Odysseus by his own rights. He savours the beauty of the hilly terrains with the same gusto as he has his romance with telegrams. Torrid times like escapade from Pakistan, death of the first child or imprisonment during postal strike are taken with equanimity. There is a bit of Sanjoy in everybody; yet, can everyone be an Odysseus?
In a hamlet named Khalishkhali, lived Sonjoy Banerjee, the son of a teacher . Rustic was Sonjoy in his ways of life as any other little kid of his age. Despite living in a village,days were far away from being spent in boredom by the boy, the little heart seeked new happenings and the universe was lenient enough to grant him with stories to be told.
Time flew and so did Sonjoy’s life, from the fields of the village to rushing for jobs at a tender age, Sonjoy did have some adventures .
From the fields of Khalishkhali to the banks of Jessore (Pakistan), the forests of Odisha and many more places, his fate drifted , taking him along and he feasted his eyes on the wonders of the nature and adding things to his list of difficulties that he has overcome.
A bachelor is a wanderer and Sanjoy’s marriage put a standstill to his nomad life, he got a dutiful wife and the job of a postmaster which he had once fancied.
But the Postmaster’s Odyssey didn’t end there, he had many more chapters to add to the book of his life.
Read the story of Sonjoy, read The Odyssey Of A Postmaster.
The best thing about the book is it has a lot more to give to the reader than just what’s written in the blurb.
The narration of the Postmaster’s life starts from his old age and then travels back in time to reveal his childhood in the 1940s.
The book is written entirely under third person narrative with a few self thoughts of Sonjoy written in italic. This was an appreciable step indeed and it saves the reader from confusion.
The book does not happen to be a light read so I would only recommend it for readers who are looking for something deep and meaningful.
A postmaster is not be mistaken with a Postman as both of them are two different designations, I had mistook it for a Postman at first and it had really puzzled me.
The book has been candidly written with some stories of Sonjoy being related to the historic events of the past, such as Indian-Pakistan division, communal riots in Rourkela etc.
Cover- 3.5 stars
Title- 4.5 stars
Blurb- 4 stars
Plot- 3.5 stars
Writing and Presentation- 3.5 stars
Overall rating- 3.8 stars out of 5
The author has added too many characters to the plot and named them as well, making it really confusing as the names of the 1940 era were anything but small and catchy.
A few Odia terms were wrongly used , for example the word “Akhada” . An akhada isn’t a joint for devotional people, rather its a desi version of what we call a gym on the modern day, more of a place where people( mostly men) exercise, test each other’s strengths or play games.
There has been an editing error as at first its written that Sonjoy’s father was Purnachandra Banerjee while the letter he wrote to Sonjoy , was signed as Purnachandra Bandopadhyay.
The book being a rather intense read, might be only restricted to the liking of the people who prefer serious reads.
Favourite Lines from the Book-
* History is like the roots of a tree. How can the foliage of present survive without the root of past?
* You can only make others happy, if you soak yourself in bliss; the sources being aplenty as you look around.
Reviewed By – Banaja Prakashini