Read it for free: here
My Ratings: 4/5 stars
About this book:
Bulbul or An Unsung Song’ is a literary coming-to-age novella about a girl based on story of Byblis from Ovid’s metamorphosis.
Okay, so the time has come. I didn’t really want to write a review because I so badly wanted to stop thinking about this book and how much I understood and related to it. But that would be unfair to the author and any other reader who might be hesitant to read this. Take my advice, don’t.
Don’t read this book if you want peace of mind and if you are okay with your own ideologies and thinking. Don’t read this book if you do not expect a book to challenge the way you look at certain aspects of society and human emotions.
And definitely, DO NOT read this book if you are going to judge.
Guess you do want to read this book. In which case, better prepare your mind for a series of tragedy and emotions that you can only understand from afar.
What I understood after reading this book is that there can be many perspectives through which this book can be seen. It could be seen as a mere tragedy with no place to blame the guilt on.
It could be seen as an evolution of innocence into something dark and bitter for lots of reasons be it a dysfunctional family, less attentive adults, lack of support or pressure of society.
It could also, however, be seen as a sad love story.
Or of course, as the name suggests, an unsung song. With lots of emotions that never really got to break the surface for the fear of being judged.
There are lots of aspects to this, lots of layers but one thing is definite and unquestionable. This is, by far, the best book I have read by an Indian author.
The writing is so exquisite. The author is clear about his ideas and philosophies and just presents it in an incredible prose. Moreover, the unconventional narration and the way the author just lets the things flow and occasionally telling you what you are supposed to be feeling, well, be still my beating heart.
The beginning, from Bulbul’s portrayal to the description of what dysfunctional truly means, had me captivated and I texted my friend right then to tell him, that he had to read this book as well.
When you are familiar with the situation, you know all the patterns and so reading it all laid out on paper in its barest form arouses an inexplicable feeling.
Since the book has a theme that could be easily misunderstood, it takes a lot of careful thought to present it in this manner.
Then there was Gulab, the isolated, stubborn teen hell-bent on not showing any weakness and vulnerability. (Seem familiar?)
The characters and how they developed throughout the story was a sight to behold. From the beginning, there was this ever-present feeling that nothing was going to go right for them and still we had hope.
It is hard to be a fully functional human with emotions and still always do what’s right because we are shackled by our feelings more than we are by logical thoughts.
“Do you know an example of an emotion created by a human? Emotions are felt by humans, not created – and almost always, as in this case, without a conscious choice.”
There were times when I just wanted to pat the author on the shoulder and commend him on assembling these thoughts in such a right manner.
“That is the problem with words- they are all a bunch of cliches and always attract a prejudice.”
The words that I read in this book will stay with me for a long time and so will the emotions that I felt. That is all.