25 June 2011

The Last Song of Dusk

Read 12 June 2011

A book that stands close to being a classic.. Reading it is like listening to a melody on your vintage gramophone slowly dissolving in thoughts and lost even as the music ends and the silence too turns into a song. It is one of those books you should never read again, because you would never feel what you felt the first time.

A masterpiece from an author who comes across sensitive and close to the feelings of his characters. He convinces you that Life is nothing but a series of tragedies, some seek the light after the long night and some seem to be lost in the darkness of the night that the night itself becomes the day.

The characters of the story are deeply pained, tending and nurturing their sadness in their hearts through their songs, stories and paintings. They give their sadness a shape, a size, a colour that it comes alive and lives with them. The sadness is so overpowering and runs across the story with such strong undercurrents that you seem to relate to the characters only through their type of sadness – the sorrow in their songs, the pain of losing a loved one, the sadness of losing your dreams, the guilt of not being there, the lonely childhood, the farness from home, the words never said and the deeds never done, the longing for the loved one.

But the sadness is not your mundane sadness. It refer to the melodious melancholy making these characters so beautiful and soulful. You can feel the beats of their heart as a sentence ends and you look far with a pause of silence before you read further. Without revealing anything about the book I can only say their cannot be a better title for this book which one can only imagine in the sepia shades of dusk and melody.. Truly the ‘Last Song of Dusk’.

Quoting some beautiful lines from the book...

“The only purpose of innocence was that it had to be lost, and the most defining characteristic of love was that it must be longed for.”

“It is so strange, that love and loathing, joy and distress, quietness and noise, all eventually blur and one is left wondering where one started and the other ended.”

She remembered of the time when her mother bid her farewell with the words: “In this life, my darling, there is no mercy.’

“There is mercy in life, for me there are my songs, for her it’s her paintings but what is the mercy for you..”

But the book also has some tongue in cheek moments.. which should be mentioned for each life and its dusk has its light moments.

“Joseph and his wife Mary had a son named Jesus. Whenever he was sloshed to his gills, Joseph would hurl the car on to the wrong side of the road, screaming, ‘Oye, there! Look at ME! Not only did I give birth to God, I even slept with His mother.”

Libya Dass’s monumental breasts of which Malcom Hailey, the Governor of Punjab, had quite fittingly commented: ‘A few inches large, and blimey, you could even colonise them!’

“I have heard when your daughter sings, even the moon listens.’ ‘ That is nothing but gross exaggeration!’ Anuradha was mortifies that someone had spread such tattle about her. ‘Absolutely!’ Radha mashi stepped in. ‘The last time she sang, only a few stars stepped out to listen.’”

Must-Must Buy The Last Song of Dusk


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