“It is alright to cry”- says the soothing voice from the helpline. And the choked emotions come to the fore filling the line with his sobs… eventually making him confident enough to start reading his ancestor’s memoirs. From 1857 to 1984… the story of Delhi seems interwoven with his family history. It is a city that provided him with shelter, yet never was quite the home he yearned for.
‘Roots’ is the story of Ganesh, a priest and astrologer who makes a living predicting others’ future. Unknown to him, fate has woven a strange twist into his life. Concurrently, ‘Roots’ also tells the story of his hometown doomed to lose its existence in the march towards development. Who wants this development? Do the residents have any say regarding their future? Can there be any compensation for losing one’s home and hearth?
Roots is a story about culture, customs and what the loss of someone dear can do to us. The story itself is very nice. Deep and interwoven in a way that surprises you. We follow each character as they go about their daily duties unaware of the secrets that are hidden by someone close to them or even in their own hearts.
I have to say this book could have been so much more. The only drawback to this story is the language. I found it increasingly awkward and ended up skim reading a few pages here and there. Ganesh is an astrologer and therefore his language being so formal is fine but the rest of them weren’t that well crafted. Not because they are badly written but because its hard to differentiate even between mother and daughter till one or the other mentions what she is doing. My main issue was the tense it isn’t consistent and the third person present tense felt jarring to me. I prefer past tense and third person limited any day over any other. If that isn’t a problem for you, by all means, pick this up.
But the story itself was very enjoyable. It is surprising as you watch how each person is somehow connected to another through some means. Be it an astrological consultation or a phone call or a workplace. Everyone is interconnected and the author showcases just how small the world really is. You can’t escape from your past or your present or the future even if you have run away to the big city. I gave this 3 stars for the story which will remain with me for a while. This is a perfect read for someone who isn’t a voracious reader.
*I was sent this for review. Opinions expressed are my own.