Saturday, Dec 03, 2022
Outlook.com
Review

Death Be Not Proud

Arresting imagery and details bolster Salim’s realistic, sensual portrayal of the opposite pulls of small and big town life, as the Grim Reaper waits patiently

Death Be Not Proud
Death Be Not Proud
outlookindia.com
2017-06-17T11:07:37+05:30

“Death provokes stories in a small town like ours”—Anees Salim’s The Small-town Sea is a provocation after death. Narrating the story of relocation through the eyes of a 13-year-old, the plot is also about loss of innocence, guilt, nostalgia and rem­embrance. Images play a dominant role almost as a parallel narrative, be it the dead pigeon landing on a patch of blanched sunlight, teeming with brown ants, pulled from the dark corner of a Bougainvillea or the secret beach that takes away a childhood companion. Likewise, smell marks a predominant presence in the novel, almost like a stray character. Death, love, warmth and fear come as experiences realised in and through a fusion of senses, in synesthesia.

The story runs in two phases: circling around a father who aspires to die in a small town near the sea, demanding a rel­ocation of the entire family, and ano­ther centering on a son who craves for his lost world in the city, where a new metro-­rail line is awaited with much expectation. As much as we are made familiar with the city and the small town in fairly realistic terms, the magic is created thr­ough a long trail of images that are a fantastic blend of the real and the imaginary.

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.