My countdown of the number of days for summer holidays to begin starts right from the day our school reopens. I guess every Indian child would have done this. Summer vacations are all we wait for. For me, summer reminds me of the lazy afternoons with no fixed schedule. One day could be playing in the streets with friends without even realizing that the sun usually works at his best or just wondering what snack my Paati (grandmom) was going to make that evening.
Summer and its scorching hot days sure did bring out the mystery seeker in me. We used to invent stories in our heads, decide to enact them and all that, without the adults finding out them somehow made me feel adventurous and excited. There are very few books that take you back in time make you feel nostalgic and make you miss those good ol’ times. The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur by Priyonkar Dasgupta promised to do just that. Read on to know if it delivered what it promised.
Disclaimer: I received the book from The Tale Penseive in exchange for an honest review.
It is summer vacations and Shoumo and his brother Shoumik are visiting Raipur, their cousin’s place. Their thirst for adventure triggered high, they roam the streets and try to chase some mystery until they come across a ghost. If you were like me having elder cousins and sibling that you had had to work hard to fit into their group when you were young, you would be able to relate to the protagonist, just like I did. I felt he was adorable, and his acts to fit into the older teenager gang were likable because the voice of the narrator seemed a little bit more matured than the so-called normal 13-year-old kids.
I loved the writing and the idyllic tone the novel was set in. The language is quite simple, and the pace was a tad bit slow for my liking. But for what is lacked in pace was made up by the interesting and quirky characters. Though some might find it little difficult to get past the vivid descriptions and loads of extra details that do not add to the story, when one might enjoy the book if one reads the book as a gateway back to your past. Kudos for the writer to have tied all the loose knots and made it a well-knit story. There were few places where the editors could have done a better job and could have avoided words like ‘stuffs’, ‘wetting in the rains’.
I was reminded of the Malgudi Days and Swami and Friends while reading about Rajpur. In fact, I had too many visits and revisits to memories from the past thanks to the book. I remembered one crazy night when my cousins decided to share ghosts stories claiming it real and the many nights that I was afraid to go to my aunt’s house which was about 20 ft away from mine. So I guess the book fulfilled the promise to bring back the nostalgia.
Bottomline: If you like Enid Blyton’s series like Famous Five, Secret Seven, don’t think, just grab the book.
P.S I loved the cover. It is not only beautiful but also intrigues the reader hinting at what to expect.