It wouldn’t be a surprise if I see this book longlisted for multiple literary awards. Right from page one, One love and the many lives of Osip B by C. P. Surendran, published by Niyogi books, gave me the feels of a literary genius.

The book follows the tumultuous life of Osip B. He is in love with his teacher, Elizabeth. Few pages into this tome and we are acquainted with the fact that Elizabeth is pregnant and Osip is the father of the child. This is unacceptable to Elizabeth and so she leaves for Delhi, away from Osip. Osip decides to follow her. Elizabeth, however, wants to abort the child. Osip’s life, we see, circles around the character of Elizabeth. “I measure my time by Elizabeth’s absence and presence.” But there are multiple other characters that render a dramatic touch to Osip’s life.

This book gave me the feels of the Booker prize winning novel The white tiger penned by Arvind Adiga. There was a dark humourous aspect to this story much like The white tiger. Infact, there’s a lot that’s going on in this book especially Osip’s mind and with the lives of the characters around him.

At times Osip seems delusional. “I was having an episode,” “it sounded like God’s house collapsing,” “In his head, it is some other time, and he is walking on some other street…” But despite these episodes the whole narrative speaks bitter truth. Alongside there are many thought provoking quotes sowed throughout which caught my attention.

Narrative zigzags through past and present so reading attentively becomes imperative or else the story might just leave us confused. Ghosts of the past, nightmares and phobias are writ throughout. Letters, emails and soliloquies too make good narratives devices. And with the impending climax you see each character slowly dimming and all the knots tied up well.

Overall, this book made a good one time read. And if you love literary fiction you will like reading it.

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