Book Review: Missing - a novel by Sumana Roy


ISBN 978-9386021991

Genre: Fiction

Publishers: Aleph Book Company

Price: Rs. 599/-  ( I got the book for review from the publisher)
Behind the Book

It is the summer of 2012. A young girl is molested in Guwahati in India’s Northeast, journalists take photographs and make videos of the incident, but no one tries to rescue her. The monsoons have arrived, and Assam is flooded, as it is every year.

In Siliguri, Kobita, a fifty four-year-old activist, married to Nayan, a blind poet, decides to travel to Guwahati to search for the molested girl who has gone missing. Before she takes off she leaves instructions to have a new bed made. Because of his disability, Nayan has no option but to depend on the carpenter and his family to trace his wife after her phone calls stop coming.

There is a riot in lower Assam from where Kobita last called her husband.

While Nayan grows desperate for news about his missing wife, their son, Kabir, is in England, absorbed in his research about Hill Cart Road, the highway that connects Siliguri to Darjeeling and the eastern Himalayas.

Missing is about seven days in the lives of these people. It is a study of the modern marriage, played out against the awareness of the question that gave birth to the Indian subcontinent’s first epic, the Ramayana: What happens when a wife goes missing?

About the Author

Sumana Roy writes from Siliguri, a small town in sub-Himalayan Bengal.

There are some authors and some books that fill you with immense joy and leave you an emotional mess just with their writing. Sumana Roy is one such writer for me. Her previous book, How I became a tree was a spectacular read I couldn't recommend enough. She is a writer par excellence and I was really looking forward to this book only to get an opportunity to bask in the magic of her writing, once again.

Missing struck a chord with me from the first page itself. A cover that is dark and melancholic helps in setting a tone for the poignant story the author is about to narrate in those pages. Missing revolves around Kobita who goes missing, her husband Nayan and their son Kabir. With a captivating story line and fresh, relatable characters the author brings alive their apathy extremely well through her writing.  She makes you feel for them, she makes you feel their loss.

Missing is story of Kobita. It is the story of us who have lost someone in life at someone point of time, either to life or death. It is the story of that feeling of missing something in our lives, that unexplained feeling of major missing and yet unable to put it in words.It is story that threatens to tear your heart apart with its tender and evocative prose. It is a story that promises to comfort your fraying nerves with its heart-warming narrative. At the end of the story it is difficult to choose which protagonist do you feel the most for. Each one of them, so lost and vulnerable that you cannot help but want to reach out of them. It reminds you of all that you have lost in life, it also reminds you of all that could have been.

The best thing about Sumana Roy's writing is that her work is poetry in prose. Her writing style is inimitable and is one that leaves a deep impression on the reader. She is one author whose work I would always watch out for.

Strongly recommended for everyone, this story has a soul of its own which will captivate your senses like none other.

Foodie Verdict

This book is like Tapioca Pudding - Heavenly and delightful with a lingering taste.

Source: Kraft Recipes