Our Impossible Love
Growing up in today’s India is drastically different than what the experience was in the 1990’s or the 80’s. Today’s India has a vast section of readers, especially, young readers very keen to enter the globally connected world of English language reading. A plethora of writers, like Durjoy Dutta, have started catering to the Indian reader base with subjects like, ‘Our Impossible Love’.
Through, ‘Our Impossible Love’, Durjoy Dutta touches upon issues which never formed a part of the common Indian household. Just like previous books of this genre, Our Impossible Love brings forth the controversies and hypocrisies of growing up in a traditional Indian house which is also influenced by western culture.
Our Impossible Love begins with the classical teenage problem of dealing with the changes in their body. Aisha Paul, is one such teen entering womanhood and facing problems which are simply swept under the carpet, as if non-existent.
She is obsessed with the pangs of youth, like dealing with mensuration and being noticed for her obvious features. She is occupied by masturbation, student politics, academics and of course curiosity for the opposite sex. Aisha has formed vague ideas in her mind about meeting her man of dreams. Her nature is seems to be an invitation for many to gossip and spread false rumors about her sex life. She finds it difficult to associate with her peers.
Then, there is the 23 year old, Danish Roy. He is, too, faced with the dilemma of being different from others of his age. He aspires to major in psychology but has failed in his attempt. To add to his misery, he has an outstanding achiever, as his younger brother. Although, Danish adores him, constant comparison with him makes Danish look like a big loser.
Danish’s parents force him to take up a job as a student counselor in a school. A person who has just entered adulthood, now, starts dealing with school children on the cusp of being adults.
As it happens, more often than not, this is the very school where Aisha studies. She meets Danish during one of the counseling sessions and finds him reassuring enough to confide some of her delicate issues. This results in some interesting developments, as Durjoy Dutta sets up, ‘Our Impossible Love’ nicely for the readers.
Danish falls for Aisha and thus begins their ‘impossible love’. But Aisha becomes the subject of numerous gossips and character assassination ploys in the school. This threatens Danish’s quest for her. ‘Our Impossible Love’ is a romantic story, with very detailed insights into the daily life of a boy and a girl. Durjoy Dutta details the changes of growing up teenage girl and the lonely world of being a decent and an under-performing man.
There are times when the plot becomes very nuanced and immoral for many. Then, there are times when ‘Our Impossible Love’ beautifully brings up the issues faced by the confused Indian middle-classes and its judgmental society.
Durjoy Dutta also deals with homo-sexuality and the way different people and relations like parents or peers react and deal with it in an Indian context. ‘Our Impossible Love’ is a story that almost every Indian teenager can associate with and also learn from, regarding his or her surrounding. First person narration helps to keep Durjoy Dutta’s work interesting and gives more personal touch to the characters.
Our Impossible Love, may not be a literary marvel but it touches all the right chords of an average English reader, who is just introduced to the fictional genre. The book touches upon the crucial issues like love, longing, friendship and sexuality in the modern Indian context. It also, supplies common wisdom on many of these issues without giving it a preachy tone.
This makes Durjoy Dutta one of the favorite English language writers for people who are uninitiated in the world of English literature. There are times when a reader will feel dosed with bawdiness but then, there are times when the story deals with sensitive issues very maturely. This has been the hallmark of Durjoy Dutta’s writing and also helped him become one of the keenly read authors among young readers.
This book can also be used as a weekend read, without complicated plots and for lazy gateways. Our Impossible Love is one absorbing read, especially if one is keen on reading Indian fiction in easy English.
|Book title||Our Impossible Love|
|Publisher(s)||Penguin Books Ltd|
|No. of pages||288|