Chaos Theory by Anuvab Pal – Book Review
The author is a play writer. And this Novel Chaos Theory is one of his plays converted into a story. You can see that in the style where chapters move like acts or scenes. A small fast-paced read about two characters who remain around each other through their lives. But never came together as one, at least not by social parameters.
Started the book on an irritated note as there were editing errors and confused dates. Publishers and Authors, please note this takes away the joy of reading. And shows callousness on your part when simple facts are messed up.
As I moved, I liked the recreation of the life of students in 60s in Delhi. Career worries of the 70s for academicians. Scaling heights in the 90s as their career peak out and eventually coming to terms with their own identities later. This was the first post independence generation in India, still trying to judge themselves by British standards. Still believing that quoting Shakespeare is the best foot forward towards being considered an intellectual. What the author brings out through the relationship of two characters who keep waiting whole of their lives to hear from the other that they are in love, but never manage to say so. Though their each action says so, is the two sides of such intellectual personalities.
They lead their own lives marrying someone else. But still maintaining their friendship with each other, still depending on each other in their moment of distress and joy. They are so themselves with each other that through their conversations you see the real them. While they go on with their life pretending to deserve what they got. While they knew there are other factors responsible for it. They actually say what they think about the subjects they teach while in the outside world they play their role in glorifying the obvious.
There is a nice description of the times. I liked the way time kept changing through the paraphernalia like music and streets. There is an insight into the world of academia. And what those intelligent looking guys doing crazy stuff do. There is a depiction of a near perfect relationship that does not ask for any kind of pretending or adhering to norms, that allows you to be yourself. And still have a right on the other, that can be out of touch for years but remains exactly where it was when you last met. English literature provides the perfect backdrop and aura to the story.
Chaos Theory is an interesting read but may be watching the play would be a better idea if it comes to your city.