Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Windhorse- In search of a journey

"There will be more" ...are the words with which Kaushik concludes his tale Windhorse- a tale of heroism, of courage, of faith and of inevitability. Narrated through the prism of a chapter of history that has largely been wished away from conscious thought under the obligations of political convenience, the magical land of Tibet is drawn up by Kaushik with all her brilliant radiance in a canvas drenched with the colours of poignancy.

The maturity of penmanship of the author and the almost lyrical flow of the prose belies the fact that this is his first novel.  It is a great attempt to capture the emotions of the uprooting of an entire civilization largely sketched through the journeys of the two main protagonists Lhasang and Norbu- two individuals who come from diametrically opposite ends of the social spectrum to coalesce for a common cause.

It is an inherent human need to belong somewhere, to call some place on this earth- their home- a piece of land for which great sacrifices seem insignificant and it is this call that is the underlying tone of the narrative. There is half a paragraph at the end of one of the chapters which speaks of the meaning of the title of the book and the entire three hundred and fifty odd pages continue to draw inspiration from that meaning. This is not a story about an idealistic struggle, nor is it a commentary on the people who are not driven by these ideals. I found it more a story of the pursuit of the meaning of one’s life- a meaning which probably each one of us keeps searching in the course of our daily lives.  The journeys may not have happy endings, in-fact the journeys may not have endings at all but it is important to partake it nonetheless.
References to the killing of a young Chinese soldier by one of the protagonists resurface in the book probably to drive home the fact that concepts of right and wrong can never be judged through a black and white lens. It is inevitably always grey. 

On the way back from school, I remember scouring the Bhutia Market of Glory's Plaza in Shillong in hunt of that best bargain for the pair of fake CK Denims. While we haggled over the price, it was impossible to not notice the posters of Free Tibet adorning the makeshift walls of those dimly lit shops. They were a cheerful lot - the Tibetans and today as I read this book, I realise the effort that it would taken for them to bring that smile to the face.
However this is not just about Tibet and the Tibetans, the background could very well have been that of Darfur and the story would have remained as compelling. 

My heartiest congratulations to Kaushik who also happens to be a very old friend at this wonderful achievement and wish him all the success with the book.

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