Tuesday, Aug 09, 2022
Outlook.com
Review

An Equal Temperament

Though anchored in music, this novel is about vanity and greed, revolves around a timelessly topical class.

An Equal Temperament
Jitender Gupta
An Equal Temperament
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Wodehouse used the word ‘shimmer’ to describe Jeeves’ unobtrusive but insistent presence. It is a good word to describe Amit Chaudhuri’s new novel. Through 400-odd pages, it shimmers, without stating its case. The exquisite passages of intelligence that typified this writer’s early pensive novels are present, but are lost in the torpor of his protagonist’s vacant gaze, best summarised in the novel’s last, and snappiest, paragraph: "Nirmalya sighed as he refolded the aerogramme. He sat and looked straight in front of him. Where did this sudden melancholy come from? Was it Pyarelal, or the light outside, or the way in which Shyamji had gone abruptly? Or was it something without history, a dull, buzzing ache which had first announced itself to him during his transformation from a child into a young man, which had no present and immediate cause?"

Nirmalya’s omphalocentric universe trails the ascent of his parents up the corporate ladder. Buoyed on South Bombay’s rarefied air (a perk in itself), the Sengupta menage evolves from the genteel (Kemp’s Corner) through the nervously nouveau riche (Malabar Hill) to casually affluent Cuffe Parade at apogee.

Outlook Newsletters

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.