WRITING STYLE: 4/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3/5
Dedicated to everyone cruising along in this journey of life, The Sameness in a Consistent Change is a book on nostalgia and memory.
Nostalgia stalks Ramanuj Gokhale. He is known to the world by that name but back in time he was Ramanuj or simply Ramu to his father. He is fond of the name Ramu for it brings out some eerie recollections of childhood and the bond with his father that he shared.
He grew up as a motherless child who didn’t know how he lost his mother and his father would also not bring up the topic of discussing his mother too often.
Nostalgia, then, is a recurrent feature in the book as well as in life. It is metaphorically represented as a mango tree which evokes “unmistakable nostalgia.” The description of the tree emotes exquisite reminiscences of the past.
Though a short novella style story, the writing keeps moving back and forth in time to create a sturdy pace that is neither reckless nor flaccid though a bit tedious at instances when the narrative takes on an overdose of nostalgic ideas.
Time is a player and a replayer. It relays in one’s mind the thoughts of the past that are etched deep into the crevices of the brain and are irreplaceable. They stir wild emotions and join in on an everyday basis during regular hours. Time is played on time and time again.
As easy as it may sound, The Sameness in a Consistent Change has a circularity that adds to the difficulty of the book. In the turns and twists of the plot are sharp turns of life that one is always seeking to grapple with and life never fails to surprise. Such is life and one must accept it no matter how many complaints they hold against it.
Yet, nothing is greater than human suffering. The story is reflective of life and its numerous battles.
Poverty is one such challenge that Ramanuj remembers battling early on in life. It is crystal clear in his mind when he spent days as a poor child. Despite that, there is no end to suffering and when he thinks that his woes are over, he only realises that he is being prepared for things much greater. This is the ultimate moral and motive of the book.
At a stretch, The Sameness in a Consistent Change is a good 60-minutes-read but it can barely be read at a go. It takes time for the ideas to seep in and the reader is forced at several instances to take frequent breaks from the reading process.
The language is moderately difficult adding to the difficulty of the narrative. The attention is more towards the development of a plot line that is topsy turvy and jumps from date to date in the past to what is assumed to be the present and hinting at an unpredictable future.
Back in time, are reminiscences of tragedies, tears, joys and reliefs. Ahead in time, are memories and more battles to be fought. But such is life and in a single word, it is challenging. So is the book.
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