literary
Down Flows The Kansai: Tracing the many facets of life

By: India Blooms News Service

Down Flows The Kansai: Tracing the many facets of life
“Down Flows The Kansai” authored by Barendra Nath Ray traces the life of a college professor, Abhinov Ray. It is not a racy, pacy plot but interesting indeed.

This novel has a story that moves at its own sublime pace and it sucks you in as you read on.

 
We meet Abhinov when he is just a school boy and is witnessing the political unrest unfolding around him during the freedom movement of Bangladesh. 
 
We journey with him and see how the political climate shapes his life and his visions. 
 
The unrest in Bangladesh sends the effervescent and charming Bharati in his life and he develops a romantic interest in her. 
 
His attraction towards Bharati urges him to develop himself and focus on his studies, thus propelling him towards excellence. 
 
As the story progresses we find how Abhinov becomes a college professor and the struggles he has to face in an attempt to develop his institution. 
 
The story is made more interesting by the episode of his marriage with an Italian lady through the interference of his yogic gurus.
 
When we imagine the life of a college professor we imagine a staid and complacent life but here the protagonist has anything but a staid life. His quirky choices and his principles lead him towards a life that is at once adventurous and interesting.
 
All the major characters in this novel are strong and can be related to. 
 
I would especially like to mention about the characters of Bharati, Marilena, and Jaya. These are the three women who enter Abhinov’s life and shape him as an individual, leaving an indelible mark of their own. 
 
First is Bharati who becomes Abhinov’s best friend in his school years. This girl instils in him an urge to excel. She comes across as a dignified woman right from her teenage years and even later when they meet, they remain good friends, support each other through good times and bad. 
 
Next is Marilena, the Italian woman who marries Abhinov but in spite of some initial fondness, the geographical distance and the practicalities of life forces her to withdraw from the marriage. 
 
Marilena is a stand-out character for me because she is not scared of trying something new in her life, like she does when she marries a stranger, a foreigner on the behest of her yogic gurus. She is open-minded and daring. Women like her show how courageous a woman can be when she realizes her mistake and boldly rectifies it without making any compromises with her life. 
 
Even after her separation with Abhinov she harbors friendly feelings for him and advice him to move forward in life with the correct partner. 
 
Another character that stands out has to be that of Abhinov’s Indian wife, Jaya.
 
Jaya is a woman who speaks her mind. She is not afraid to openly acknowledge her differences with her husband and she is not even ashamed to ask for forgiveness at the right time.
 
This novel is a decent and calming read during a lazy rainy afternoon and is now available at Flipkart, Shopclues, Ebay, and Power Publishers.
 
Reviewed by Priya Das