It started as a hobby and now she has a book to her credit. Avantika Debnath’s first book, ‘Bridal Pyre – Nainam Dahati Pawakah’, is based on real stories from real women of their pain and suffering. She calls her pen a weapon that she uses to fight the evil around her. The 30-year-old shares her top five reads
First will be ‘Khaled Hossieni’s A Thousand Splendid Suns’. It opens my eyes to the sad fact that misogyny and tyranny has no culture, no religion and no geography. Again, it accounts that only a woman with determination can grow strong enough to protest the subjugation can bring about a change in her life and to that of others. This is the very idea that resonates with my book, ‘The Bridal Pyre’.
Sync in thoughts
I have been an avid Eric Segal fan since school days, and among all his works, ‘Doctors’ remains to be my favourite. There are a myriad reasons why this book appeals to me, but the significant one is the masterful dealing of euthanasia. I am not sure where this practice stands on the ethical grounds, but my thoughts at times echo the idea of bringing an end to a suffering that will never get better but only worse with time.
Paulo Coelho’s chronicle of a Brazilian prostitute’s life in ‘Eleven Minutes’ pushed me to read it more than once. Wandering in search of love and in the process letting it decay oneself is a common manifestation. The entire plot has a pensive note being played at the backdrop, and that is what glues me to it.
Next on in my list has to be ‘The Lowland’ by Jhumpa Lahiri. The striking aspect of this book is that it has four protagonists and the author has done justice to all of them, even the one who dies just as the story begins to unfold itself. The beauty of the book lies in the way the lives of these four characters are independent and yet intertwined. The third dimension of the book is the foreground of naxal activities in 1970s Calcutta. Someone only with the caliber of Jhumpa Lahiri could have woven a story this brilliantly.
I am not a sucker for romantic novels and I will never write a ‘boy-meets-girl’ story. But The Fault in Our Stars by John Green educed me to tears. I was under a spell for about a week. If love has to be, it has to be the way it was between Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace Lancaster. Love doesn’t need width, it needs to be deep. The book is replete with quotes which are philosophical and so pragmatic at the same time. This book is my Romeo-Juliet, honestly. My benchmark for love.