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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Read Along Left From Dhakeshwari by Kunal Sen : Discussion 2

Dear Readers Welcome to the second discussion session of Left From Dhakeshwary by  Kunal Sen, one of my most favorite reads ever. Those who missed the first post it is here . They had discussed the first two stories and I shall be writing about the next three stories. Though I loved each story, three of them are my favorite and I am happy I get to discuss two of them.

The first story for today is the title of the book Left From Dhakeshwari...

In this story the author through the story of a couple and how their relationship is affected by time and the place they live in explains human nature. Its tendency to cling to the past, to things around it , to the places one has lived in etc. Let me be a  little more disclosing, when we leave a certain place, a place that we know all about, and shift to another, we tend to miss the first place. We spend our days missing things we did there, the food, the beauty etc. We believe the new place is just temporary phase. But what is life, if not a collection of these phases? The essence of the entire story comes out in these lines "I think a lot of people make that mistake as well; thinking that their lives today are just purgatories for tomorrow,stories about another story, another day".

While living and believing in this temporary existence the new place becomes our life and now we live and relish everything about it, accepting the unique flavor it adds to our lives.

The second story is mine and I am sure even yours most favorite Salt Lake

I never read a story that could bring me so close to myself as this one. In essence it is the story of a girl Farinoush who is a victim of fire accident that leaves a permanent mark on her face. She tries multiple surgeries but they just leave her skin patchy and none could remove that scar. She meets a mime actor Farzan who reaches their locality to perform a mime act during Durga Puja. She gets chosen as the lead actor. She falls in love with him, and he too. However Farzan is a code. an undecipherable one. He is someone who would prefer forever to be in a mime where he is left at peace, not subjected to questions about him. He however has scars of his own, not visible but apparent in his silent mannerisms. He wishes to conquer his demons and only then believes his life was worth it.

Whether they will land up together? Read the book for that. Read it more to understand human nature and its tendencies to cling to scars that life presents and why do we do that.

The next story is much simple but just leaves you wondering. The twist at the end is a bolt and whenever you will think of a good shock at the end, you shall think of this one. The story is called ZUGZWANG.

First of all ZUGZWANG in German means "compulsion to move". Victoria is the fattest woman in the locality weighing 122 Kg. She is dependent on her husband for everything and moves on a wheelchair. However she wasn't always so fat. When she thinks about what her marriage had done to her, she decides to leave. However when one spends over a decade of married life its not so easy. She knows he will need her and pleads her not to leave. 
On the other hand when her surgeon Alokanada meets Victoria's husband to tell him not to hit her, she feels she had met her soul-mate. However she too is married to Ritwick and now here is where things start spinning in various directions until the end is reached. This is a not to miss story.

                                                 Question Time ....???
1. Why do you think humans have tendencies to cling to what is past? What is the best way to accept and enjoy the present instead? (If you can supplement it with an example that will be great)

2.  Why do we humans tend to stick to our scars though they are painful? 

3. Is life a journey to find your demons and conquer them or a destination that is reached when you find a loved one?

4.  Sometimes even bad relationships go on as they become a habit- what should one do in relationships where there is no growth of the couple involved?

I am waiting your beautiful explanations to the tough questions this book puts in your face. Fell free to write your heart out in the comments section. 

Also all the bloggers supporting us and participating in our discussion put the button below on your blog. If you don't have a blog please share it on your facebook and twitter walls. Thank you in advance.

Please do stop by next week at Fahima's Blog,+Ergo+I+Write%29 . She will be discussing the next two stories, one of them being in the list of my top favourites and could have been a complete novel Alexandra's Stalker.

If you read this post do write something in the comments below. Thank you.
Happy Reading...:)


  1. Why do we stick to our scars though they are painful?
    Cos however painful they may be, they are the very ones that make us what we are.
    Plus, more often than not, the moments that gave us scars were probably the most beautiful moments of our lives or we never wanted those moments to end ever :)

    I personally feel life is simply meant to be lived and see what every new day has in store for you.
    Targets like conquering the demons or finding a perfect loved one don't really define the life. Cos life goes on even after you've achieved both or any of the above two. :)

    1. Thanx Jigar for stopping by and sharing your views. Do share the post with your friends and support us by adding the badge to your blog. Thanks a lot once again.

  2. Hey Nimi, great post! I really liked Left From Dhakeshwari and Salt Lake as well. Now, as for your questions,

    I think humans have a tendency to cling to their pasts because we are made up of our pasts at the end of the day. Our past affects us every single day, whether we want it to or not. I don't think there is a best way to accept and enjoy the present. If you're capable of accepting your past, I commend you.

    Sometimes scar are more like protective layers underneath which lies your true self. I think that's the way Farinoush thought at least.

    I'd like to say both. You have to conquer you demons but if the same journey leads to a loved one all the better. You have someone to share it with.

    I have no clue how to answer your last question. Bad relationships go on for a long period of time because as much as you want to deny it, its your safety net. You can't just get rid of it even though its unhealthy. But sometimes you need to let go and move on.

    Thank you so much for your questions. Hope everyone is enjoying the read along. Happy reading!

    Janhvi @ The Readdicts

    1. Thank you Janhvi. I am glad you loved the stories too. I loved your last answer. Its true it becomes a habit, a safety net and you are afraid to change it. But I hope all such people eventually find courage to a better brighter life :).

      We will know as we get the posts how much people are truly enjoying it :).

  3. Great post, Nimi! And I love the questions. They're so thought provoking.

    Like Janhvi says, our past is what makes us who we are today. It's what brought us here, and its only natural that we would remember it. But clinging to it is unhealthy, and maybe we should just learn to cope with what's happened and live in the present.

    Scars... because they remind us of how we got them in the first place, so as something a lesson? I dont know...

    I think it's a bit of both, and so much more else. Every journey has a destination, but that destination might differ for everyone.

    Bad relationships become something of a safety blanket after awhile, I think. The only think to do them is to get out. And fast.

    1. Thank you Fahima, I am glad you liked the questions. Waiting for the next post by you :)

  4. I thank you Nimi for championing the 'Read Along' and indeed, your lucidly profound thoughts on the three stories.

    Debjani, Farzaan and the Zugzwang quartet will be chronicled in my next book as well, for I am not done with their worlds yet. They were amongst the most insubordinate and fascinating characters I had the privilege of channelling.

    I've thoroughly enjoyed reading the responses here. My answers:

    1. Why do you think humans have tendencies to cling to what is past? What is the best way to accept and enjoy the present instead? (If you can supplement it with an example that will be great)
    The past will always trump the present because it has the advantage of being dead. It’s surreal but finite, history and myth, lifelike and phantasmal at the same time. The present is too malleable- anything can happen, and so it seems, nothing is important. You’re only interacting, evolving at the moment. It is the past that has the takeaways: wisdom and wounds, it is the past that needs to be dealt with first before we even start thinking about the present; we’ll be leading empty, escapist lives otherwise.

    2. Why do we humans tend to stick to our scars though they are painful?
    We are our memories. We and the people we love the most have nothing in common but our shared past, and that’s why we stick to what we know and have amassed.

    3. Is life a journey to find your demons and conquer them or a destination that is reached when you find a loved one?
    Maybe life, like I feel writing is, is a process of understanding one’s own, private maladies and self and is an exploration into itself rather than a bridge to another person, for it would be quite condescending on one’s part to treat another as just the answer to his questions.

    4. Sometimes even bad relationships go on as they become a habit- what should one do in relationships where there is no growth of the couple involved?
    I don’t have an answer for this. Everyone has a different alchemy of catharsis.

    It was a pleasure being here and I look forward to the next installment as the ' Read Along' keeps on trucking.

    1. Debjani, Farzaan and the Zugzwang quartet again! wow...I have already started imagining what could lie on their journeys ahead.

      Your answers were so much I wanted to hear...after all who can define his characters and the thought behind each story better than the author. Thanks a lot for stopping by. You made my day :)

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  6. Hello NImi,

    First of all I loved your insight on all the three stories. 'Left From Dhakeshwari' and 'Salt lake' the the stories that moved me from within. I wanted to add more but I can't think of a single word to add. You spoke about everything, I couldn't have summarized it better. 'Left From Dhakeshwari' made me realize that I am missing out my 'Now' thinking about my past or future. And 'Salt lake' just left me speechless.

    Onto your questions:
    1)The worst problem with human's is that they don't truly 'forgive and forget'. Clinging to past has several meanings-- If the past is joyous then one should always cling to it because it does become your anchor when tides are too heavy, too high, too dangerous to sweep you away.
    If the past has something to learn - then one should never forget that lesson, and that in a way becomes a part of your present and you cling to it.
    Now most important one-- was your past devastating, is it something that left a void in your life, shattered your heart into million pieces.. then one can not just forget and live the present. That past made you the person you are today. And best way to accept is to face it. Running away from it won't help. The more you face it, the more you'll accept it, you'll know what went wrong, what you learnt and what you have to do now. Once you have truly accepted it then it again becomes a part of your present and it is easy to live in present rather then clinging to your past.

    2)Scars are real, they make us human and the pain associated with those scars make us alive, it binds us to the reality and I believe Scars are a must have to know the meaning of your life.

    3)It's both. It's hard to love someone with all your heart if you have not fought your own demons. Because those demons will always occupy a space in your heart.

    4)It's rather a difficult question to answer but I do want to answer from my POV. I believe every relationship is made from soul, good or bad, productive or not, when soul connects, you have a relationship. And even a relationship which may seem like there is no growth involved has it's meaning, yes that relationship probably won't last for life but it became a habit but perhaps in reality it is not a habit, it's a need. At some point those two persons might have truly loved to come together and sometimes a person gets too venerable to let to. But at some point... one or both has to let go if it is not going anywhere. Or simply try to make it work if they want to.

    I know long answers :D. I just wrote from my heart because these stories touched my heart.

    PS-- My apologies for the late reply.
    PPS-- I enjoyed reading all the replied and your questions were AWESOME. They truly matched he depth of the stories. KUDOS!!

    Ankita Singhal

  7. Very thought-provoking post!

    Well we humans have tendency to cling to the past because we tend to regret the mistakes we did. It’s somewhat good as it prevents us to repeat that mistake. And if we ever plan to let go, life creates plenty of situations & circumstances which make us remind our past.

    Best way to accept and enjoy our present? Well, it depends. If you’re single, you can indulge yourself in various things that gives you pleasure and contentment and help you to move on but if you have a partner, it depends on him/her. Unfortunately some people couldn’t digest the past of their past/mistakes and keep reminding them every now and then.
    Second question is similar to the first one to some extent. But our scars though painful help us to realize the harsh reality of our life.

    For the third one I would say, life is not just about finding love…it’s definitely not the destination. It’s more than that. You have to deal with different responsibilities and targets.

    About bad relationships: It’s not about just habit. Bad things in your life should not become your habit. There are many aspects that keep the bad relationship going. In premarital relationship, you get chance to understand the temperament and compatibility so, it’s an absolute folly to continue if it becomes painful and abusive. After all, it’s the question of whole life. But people feel difficult to come out from a bad marriage. There’re many aspects: Children, parents, society, families, “Log kya kahenge” waala funda…and so many things. It becomes complicated.

    But I wonder why people force themselves to stay in a bad, abusive, unhappy marriage where there’s no peace, no dignity, no love, no security (Yes, sometimes staying in really bad marriage becomes fatal) and no sense of responsibility. Normal ups and downs and argument are quite common and okay. People must learn to compromise and understand and tackle problems wisely to some extent but when you start to feel that there’s no scope of happiness, love, respect and peace and life is not secure, it’s better to get out of that relationship. Times have changed. Everyone has a right to live a blissful, peaceful, secure and dignified life!

  8. Amazing post, Nimi! That's a very well thought out and detailed post. I loved reading every bit of it. Well done!

    My responses-

    1) We tend to cling to the past and I think it actually helps us form our future. I absolutely believe in the saying "Everything happens for reason". It's nice to go back and relive memories (whether happy or sad), but it shouldn't go to the point where one lives in the past more than the present. I'd say we should maintain a balance between the two.

    2) Ah, now that's difficult to answer. I can say that some like pain and our pain only shows us how strong we really are to have lived through it.

    3) It's both. Life is a little bit of everything and nothing.

    4) Oh, honestly, I don't know. I don't think I am capable of answering that as of now but you surely have given me something to think about.

    Sorry for stopping by so late but you have really opened my mind now and I can't wait to start my contemplation! See you at the next stop.

    Sarika @ The Readdicts