My exposure to literature based in Bengal goes back to when I was a teenager and Paulami’s book took me back to my teenage days once again. Especially the romance between the protagonist and his love interest brought the teenager in me alive. Idolizing someone, fantasizing about that person and defending that person fiercely in front of everyone, teenage love is marked by romance of this kind which ‘A Thousand Unspoken Words’ is so full of!
The book is a story of a fallen hero, a writer. He starts out as a rebel who is frustrated with the hypocrisy of communism that on one hand preaches equality & freedom and on the other hand subjects people to censorship and violence. He takes on a pen name- Musafir, which gets popular. Enters the love interest and she is a borderline idealist. A fan of his work, Tilotamma meets her hero without knowing he is Musafir indeed. She eventually does find out and novel progresses beautifully before it concludes on an open end. The ending is such that you can decipher one of your own- happy or tragic.
The story does have other characters with interesting things happening in their lives as well but centre of the plot is the fallen hero himself , who first rebels against ways of the world then for once embraces them , before giving up them finally forever.
The book has subtle undertones of how politics affect the lives of ordinary people. Ideologies such as communism and capitalism do not only decide how economy should be run but they also affect feelings and relations on a very personal level of all the characters. It raises valid questions such as should one pursue money and fame? Or chase ideals such as welfare of destitute women that eventually require money as well?
The book is a short read. Perfect to cuddle up on a weekend and romance remains the icing on the cake. You may also read it to know about people in Bengal and how politics has been shaping their lives unwittingly.