2013-02-06 17:34:50 - The Undulating Land is a growing-up story set against the backdrop of the Assam Agitation and the Insurgency by the debutant writer Tridiv Chowdhury.m
What ails Assam? This is a question that comes up again and again in this story of life amidst political upheavals, as it traverses the period from the late 70’s to the present day. The narrator, Ratan, recounts those days before the turmoil began – his hometown, the unhappy home he grew up in, his grandpa with his passion for history, the village, boarding school, social schisms, loss of innocence and his shameful act – all that which go on to shape life.
The Assam Agitation begins against illegal migration and normal life is overwhelmed. But Ratan could not foresee what everything would turn out to be. The six-year long agitation ends unexpectedly, but instead of peace, Assam witnesses the
rise of the insurgency. He loses his only friend to militancy, but he does not know to what extent his friend is to change his life. After a heated argument with his father he leaves home abruptly, just at the same time an army operation begins in Assam against the militants.
Years later – when Ratan is living and working in the relative safety of a metropolis, when he feels he has left everything behind – his past, and Assam, comes hurtling back into his life. His destiny pulls him towards his wife-to-be, but she is someone with a terrible secret. Hers is a tale of courage and endurance. Together they have to face the past, present and future.
The author Tridiv Chowdhury hails from Guwahati, the largest city of Assam and its capital. Though The Undulating Land is his first novel, he has given himself a difficult brief : to delineate the multi-hued theme of insurgency, to recreate a socio-political landscape of Assam; but at the same time, to tell a story which has enough dramatic elements to keep the reader interested. And in his endeavor, the author has largely succeeded. The historical information give the necessary background and touches of local details create authenticity. The coming-of-age of the narrator and protagonist, Ratan, is a metaphor for his native place, and his generation. But where The Undulating Land scores is that it deals with the universal themes of pride and fate and despair and love; it talks of prejudices and gender inequality and rape and class conflicts and humanism. The many voices used lends variety and realism to the first-person narrative, and the unexpected humour provide relief. Ratan's personal losses, his love and his redemption, and the ending give a sense of emotional satisfaction, and may bring tears to an eye or two.
Book :- The Undulating Land
Author :- Tridiv Chowdhury
ISBN :- 978-93-81206-02-7
Price :- Rs. 425
Official website :- www.tridivchowdhury.com
Publishing Date: 2012
Publisher: Power Publishers