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A book review – Whispering Paths

The first time I interviewed someone for an assignment, the piece came back with a remark which read – ‘MOTS’ needs flesh, i.e. man on the street needs flesh! Whatever that meant, confusion was my first reaction to it. However, with writing and then rewriting the same assignment over, and over again, I realized that I had to add character or rather more ‘meat’ to the story. So what is my point here? I am trying to say that when someone asks me to read a new book or try a new author, I am generally wary of them. Why? Because I do not want to read through the book like a zombie because there is nothing (in terms of ‘meat) in its story or the characters!

But (There is always a catch, isn’t it?) Whispering Paths by Sneha Subramanian Kanta is different. Her debut publication has already put her in a league of writers who are out there to tell stories; stories that touch a chord deep within us and haunt us (in a good way) for time to come. Stories that a reader can relate to, feel the pain, the mirth and so on.

True to its name, Whispering Paths, the book, whispers into our ears the stories of the unknown and unspoken off.

The first half of her book contains her poetry. Poetry that is at once vivid and stark. Every emotion the writer feels or observes is keenly felt by the reader. So whether she talks about Rani’s (the maid’s daughter) marriage or how the street children are content with playing with their ragged doll, the reader gets a clear insight into their lives through the few verses of the writer.

In the second half, the author narrates her tales with much intricacy and detail. The fiction stories are much more solemn in nature – expressing each repressed feeling; be it a sense of loss, death of a loved one or the stagnant nature of one’s life. One might observe that although the author is young, her words beautifully weave emotions felt in an era much before her time. It is remarkable for a first timer to have captured them so well as if she were living their lives herself. It comes as no surprise that the writer manages to narrate a young widow’s condition after she is forced into marrying her brother-in-law so directly yet being able to restore the real sentiments felt. This particular character stands out for me because she is so well-etched. Sudden loss of a loved one, abandoned emotionally by the family, many young women – married and unmarried were left in such a state of decay. The India-Pakistan partition is the core theme running across her stories and is seen in her poetry as well.

Sneha Subramanian Kanta paints beautiful images with her words. The narrative flows smoothly, pulling the reader into the narrative itself! To know more about the author, click here -

P.S – I am so glad that I know someone who is so brave and a wonderfully talented writer! Way to go Sneha :)


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