After the much success of Everything and nothing, a pre-partition Bengal saga, author Nilotpal Dutta is back with yet another moving story with the book Balli of Bagdih. I ravished this book bit by bit and what follows is an utterly positive review.
The book Balli of Bagdih, as the title suggests, is a story of a common boy from a small hamlet in Dhanbad. Dhanbad is coal rich area and therefore, becomes a shelter for Balli’s family. The story spans Balli’s nascent to adulting years and how despite growing up in this small hamlet Balli creates a beautiful world for himself and those around him.
This book turned me into mush. I was thoroughly smitten by Balli. His small world was my escape. He is adorable, innocent, sensitive, sensible, strong, agile and SO matured for his age that he is going to charm every reader who picks up this book.
I have read number of coming-of-the-age novels but this does stand out as one amongst the best. I am all praises for author’s pencraft, world building and characters. This book slowly grows on you and leaves you teary-eyed. If you are as emotional as me then you might just end up crying (like me) so keep Kleenex handy.
The book left me smiling, laughing and also, broke my heart one too many times. Life came a full circle for Balli and that gave me goosebumps. “Balli was a legend,” reads a line in the book and I concur. He lived like a legend from the minute he was introduced to us. Balli is not just a character but he carries the essence of life. To me, he reiterated the facts that even BFFs will leave you one day, going incommunicado is not the right way if you value a relationship and a good deed goes a long way. This and all the other life lessons that Balli’s Nana preached in this story shall stay.
What’s noteworthy is how the author has deftly tied together the episodes from Balli’s life with the threads of political events, surroundings and technological changes the era witnessed. Being a millennial I could relate to so many aspects discussed in the book about eras gone by. The author has caught the finer naunces of beauty of life we all lived sans gadgets all those years ago. Also, when the author talks about Bagdih he presents it like yet another soulful character which is laudable. And he reacquainted me with Dhanbad, a hamlet I had only ever read about in social science books, but I saw it come to life in this story.
Balli was a literary rich heroic character and I could sing endless paeans for this book and how it made me feel. To put it succinctly, it is a heartwarming and a heartmelting book and sure to give you immense satisfaction. Do not miss it!
To buy the book, pls click - Balli of Bagdih by Nilotpal Dutta
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