Title: The Box, Author: Avik Sanwar Rahman, Publisher: Desh Publications
The Box is the debut of Avik Sanwar Rahman. It tells the story of a man who lost himself. He is trapped in darkness. The novel is incredibly well written. The writer has a way making the characters leap of the page.
The novel opens with the protagonist found himself in the darkness. While battling confusion and pain, narrator explains how he wound up in that situation. After escaping from the darkness he met a dervish in his way who assured him that nobody would harm him. Then he discovered himself in a forest.
He went to a small hut in the forest where a green eyed old woman Samiran taught children ways of life. When he says, "I have lost my way; I am supposed to go back to my home. But I am here. I don't know how to go back to home."Samiran helped her to settle him in the woods.
Mr. Kan is a scholar in that village and he shared his knowledge with Ra. "Man can't see his future, neither can he predict the next moment. Life is a paradox."
Alese is a lady who has beauty with brain. Readers smell love is in the air when her handkerchief was in Ra's pocket. As a woman of beauty and brain, the author makes Alese, the heroine in an interesting way. Alese named the protagonist 'Ra'. I enjoyed Ra's desperation and desolation when he didn't find her.
When asking about the purpose of life, Ra said in a poetical tune," Why don't I believe in my destiny? Sometimes I'm not in control, sometimes someone, somewhere is pulling my strengths, controlling me, I'm simply a puppet without luck."
The life of forest people is different from ours. Like when a wolf attacked a man Samiran called for the wolf to punish or when Ra didn't find Alese, Samiran called for the wolf to search her. The wolf was lamenting his sin! As the narrator wrote, "There is no jail for the one who commits a crime here. There is no jail in the jungle."The wolves are also sought when Alese was lost. Of course, the most significant source of tension comes when Alese was lost.
It's easy for a debut to fall into the trap of focusing too much unnecessary context, but Avik Sanwar Rahman succeeds in crafting intimacy in his story and characters and makes the readers bound to read the full book in one seating. Readers get a fresh vibe from his artful carvings. Unforeseen forces come in an enigmatic way in his writing.
'The Box' is a philosophical journey. It's a moment of self-reliance.
In this busy world, sometimes our minds want a tranquil place where there is no rules, no bindings. At times, we think to get rid of the business of this artificial life, to run away from the problems of the daily life. We want a place where we get simplicity, freedom and eternal peace. The problem arises when we become impatient. "Intolerance is the basic sin of mankind.
It creates all problems." "Life is a journey. For some it's a big one, for some it's small…There will be an end in life; but don't try to reach in haste". We need patience to get all good things in life. Whenever we become impatience, we lose our ways, our lives become dark and we become trapped as if within a box!
Each character had a story that made the characters him or her interesting. The author did an excellent job capturing the different relationships among the characters. I loved the fact that Ra wanted to go his own home and to reunite with his family members but never got that opportunity and but some unforeseen forces drove him in a different another direction. Finally he amalgamated with forest people and satisfied with his new identity.
Avik's writing is a pleasure to read, his prose strikes a perfect balance between the gritty and sublime. The Box is filled with magnificent scenery, which transported me to another world. It also had perfect elements of tension built into the storyline. While reading this, I couldn't help but think how marvelous it would be if this story were made into a film.
The writer is a sub editor of The Asian Age
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