Novelist from Siliguri offers interesting read

4 Jan 2017

People have always held the concept of ‘metempsychosis’ in awe. Though the term may sound new to many, the philosophy isn’t. Adopted from the Greek language, the term refers to transmigration of the soul, especially its reincarnation after death.

Metempsychosis has been a subject of great speculation time and again, both in cinema and literature. In Indian literature, Satyajit Ray has been known to give credence to transmigration of the soul in ‘Sonar Kella.’ In her debut novel, ‘Matters of the Heart,’ Jonali Karmakar has chosen a similar concept to spin a fascinating story of love and the unfulfilled desires of the soul.

An alumnus of Mahbert High School, Jonali wanted nothing more than seeing herself as a writer. Publishing occasional poems and articles in magazines and newspapers was how she started living her dream. She soon branched out into editing, content writing, and translation. Currently, she works as a freelance copy-editor with The Asian Age and as a special correspondent for Siliguri Times.

In her novel, Jonali explores the unknown realm of incarnations. Memories define us but when we die they are wiped clean. We become new personalities when we are born again. But what if we were born with our past memories intact? Or with a part at least. Imagine a palimpsest­­­­ — two different stories trying to unfold at once. One that should have dissolved but doesn’t, twines with the new that suffers along. A single lifetime interspersed with two very different memories. Between reality and foggy retentions layer upon layer of thought and reverie are inscribed that do not belong to the present but to an unknown past whose very existence is unknown.

Caught up in this vortex is a young painter, Rini, whose life is a rollercoaster ride. “Seven suicide attempts in seven years” — she is summed up as a freak, a misfit. Yet her lover, Aritro, finds her befitting. Theirs is a love story that spans through the mortal and the otherworld. It is the shadow of another lifetime — of Srija’s — that spells pain and loss for them. She claims her existence and struggles for an individual identity apart from Rini. It is an unheard crusade that leaves behind turmoil and uncertainty laced by the fear of loss.

Three stories weave themselves together and hinge on each other to complete the journey that was destined to be. It is a journey that takes those involved through a tale of relationships, loss, emotional conflicts, sacrifice and immortal love. It is a tale of love that stays behind even when everything else perishes.

Book details:

Title: Matters of the Heart

Author: Jonali Karmakar

Publisher: MS Publishers

Pages: 223

Available at: Amazon and Shopclues