Canvasby Aniruddha Bose
, Translated by Purnasree Nag
Every human is a myriad of various facades like the rainbow traversing a prism emitting various shades. Often one colour outstrips the other like the insignia of life. Canvas is a window into the varied facets of human existence. Initially starting off with seven short stories of seven different females, the author inter-weaves them to the confluence of a single novel, which portrays the different facets of a female in tune with colours of the rainbow and takes the reader on a deeper inner journey, beyond the prismatic spectrum, into the mystique shades of invisible ultra-violet or infra-red rays, where dwells the real truth of human realization
The seven hues of the rainbow are the kernel of the colours of the cosmos. Newton’s Colour Theory states the colours fuse to white in light or black in dark. These are perceptible platitudes of the spectrum. Beyond the visible, the ultraviolet and infrared play a sizable role for those who desire to look beyond the familiar pastels. Amid the identified colours of the canvas, only a few realise its significance. Those who can sense them, realise the mortal limitations onto an awareness to the realm of endless eternal bliss.
Canvas, an experimental novella of Aniruddha Bose, dissects the prime female protagonist into the seven facets of feminine roles in society, like the motley prismatic array of the spectrum. He entwines seven dissimilar short stories of females in their diverse social roles, into a single novella.
This could enlighten the readers to the awareness of eventual mortal bliss, which many forget in their worldly chores. The novella, easy to read, difficult to comprehend, is an eye-opener for those who aspire for the sublime awareness.
The naïve college lass, the artist, the danseuse victim, the slut, the pro, the vocalist, the wife, the mother is a veracity of life’s ever-changing pennants. They are a deceptive mirage in pursuit for the eternal haven, amid their varied feminine facets.
-by Purnasree Nag
This is the second book written by Aniruddha Bose that I have finished reading. The book is "Canvas" which is translated in English by Purnasree Nag and published by Smriti Publishers. His first one was definitely mind-blowing and I liked how he managed to convey a concept through letters between two protagonists. This time he took another challenge of portraying life of a female in the seven facets of their roles in our society. He integrated seven different short stories in their diverse social roles into a single novella. The different women whom the author integrated together into one character named Nandini are a naive college lass, an artist, a danseuse victim, a slut, a pro, a vocalist, wife and a mother. Initially, it's difficult when the different characters of these women are introduced but when you start reading the story of their integrated character, Nandini, everything starts falling in the right place.
Book is written in a sound literary language and author's good command on the language can be sensed right from the first sentence of this book until the last. I would like to talk about the translator, Purnasree Nag, who have translated this book in English from Bengali. I understand that one has a set of good vocabulary but dumping it all in a book isn't a wise decision. Every sentences has 2-3 difficult words in English which not many readers might be familiar with which could make this novel quite a tough experience. There should be a fine balance on usage of difficult and easy words in any language. Rest, I would say that from literary point of view, this book is surely going to be in the favorite list of the readers following the genre.
Initially when author discusses about how the female protagonist is getting victimized by different males is quite disheartening to read because that's a blunt reality of our life from past many years. But then how she manages to detach herself from the event though it keeps haunting her time and again is worth appreciating. The way canvas and paintings and cultures are discussed in 2nd half specifically are worth reading as the book becomes quite philosophical by then too. The climax is also beautifully narrated and in the end you feel to experience more about this multi-faceted character, Nandini. Talking about the drawbacks, I feel that the author should have taken some time whenever the character was going through a turmoil and changing herself from one state of mind to another. It all happens so suddenly sometimes that you miss the whole context and can't feel her pain or excitement. Rest, it's a fine attempt.
-by Abhilash Ruhela
Canvas by Aniruddha Bose, translated by Purnasree Nag offers a great depth and a poetical text that define a window on the world of women, through which every man can only fully grasp the aspects and insights every woman can finally feel, see and understand in its wonderful complexity that has its own language, smells, rhythms, music and atmosphere.
The book includes portraits of women alongside lyrical descriptions, true portraits in poetry that capture the essence of each unique aspect of being female. The colours interacts with human emotions where each colour is related a mood and activate each other in many facets that alone would not have.
Everything is contained in the instant, the soul in the present, in the sense of wonder felt for an emotion, a hug or a landscape, and the little things that catch us with their candour and their precious uniqueness in a world that wants to have a different approach, a new way to understand the love and sexuality, free of emotional dependency and balanced, which originates from the heart.
It is a book dedicated to the women, who have the gift to turn almost anything into almost everything, who can understand the immense value of an emotion, a kind gesture or a smile, who can go through life lightly without ever burdening the lives of others, because they want to be respected, understood and loved.
A book not only for women but also for men who are sensitive to the female who will be able to understand and get closer to their inner self and essence, to create a loving relationship. The author paint life in the form women, who are eminently bearers of life to give carnality that leaks from the subjects and yet clearly transpires from the canvases, albeit at times tempered by the style a bit naive of the faces of women.
The author proves as a writer of rare sensitivity, a true soul traveller, who with this book managed to travel the thousand paths, even the most hidden, inside a feminine soul. In the author there is a strong ability to grasp the feelings, emotions and states of mind of the female universe, who seems to know more about the women themselves to their complexity and their actual value, that our society has scaled down with time.
In the book I found something new and intriguing, which describes women, who are different, but all with a common denominator with the description of the poetic force of magic, of the divinity that is in each woman and the strength and determination that they puts in facing life's adversities.
The author puts the readers in front of a mirror that reflected mysterious and unknown sides to the women themselves. The book never judges, and its great sensitivity is comforting and reassuring for anyone who reads it that manage to highlight the existential pathways of the female mind, thanks to the carefully measured portraits.
Thanks to the author who was able to make infinite feminine image of the soul, as it is infinite love that it shows towards the female universe with a book to be read and reread several times. Every time we will find out again. Every time we will discover something new in the women.
-by Kalyan Panja
I have read many novels, but reading Aniruddha Bose’s ‘Canvas’ was really a novel experience. Initially I began to read it casually more out of curiosity to know what my childhood friend would have written. As I progressed and got involved in its intricacies, I got engrossed fully and was awe struck, to see the fine balance the author has maintained in carrying through the thread.
It is certainly amazing how he could first deconstruct seven different characters (seven colours of the rainbow) and then reconstruct the same to blend as one character, much like the VIBGYOR’s beautiful final shape. Certainly a very challenging task but the author seems to thrive and even relish such challenges. The characters blend neatly, situations are intricately conceived and Nandini the central character emerges successfully after the ‘catharsis’.
Aniruddha Bose could have quietly taken the easier route and written seven separate novels, but that would have done grave injustice to the rainbow we call life. It is to his credit that he could achieve a great degree of synthesis and paint on his Canvas a submerged but triumphant image.
I perceived an undercurrent of the mystique and spiritual quest running profusely throughout the novel culminating in the eulogising of the Supreme Being in the last line ‘O Miti Brahma’ which is a profound statement from the Upanishad.
Nandini does not let her escapades and experiences in different places and times haunt her and turn her into a brooding morose woman. Rather, she undergoes a purge in the seven stages of metamorphoses and evolves finally as a spiritual being. This concept of evolution is well brought forth in the poignant story.
Descriptions are crisp and dialogues are pithy and tight. Every page takes you naturally to the next. The only thing this novel demands is your full concentration. The more you concentrate, the more you can enjoy reading the book.
I congratulate Aniruddha for accomplishing a tough task with consummate artistry. His experience gained in writing earlier novels, his erudition and sharp insight into human psyche has helped him weave a fine and wholesome image in his ‘Canvas’. I am sure his pen will flower further.