‘Sepia leaves’ is a narrative which many of us pass through every day. It is a story where a child grows up in a violent household. There are layers and layers of complexities in our relationships particularly in the Great Indian Nuclear Family. Those complexities are scratched in the book. Harmony with them unfolds closer to the end. I must emphasis that to reach the level of harmony, friction is essential. Can a husband not divorce his wife- who is schizophrenic? Can he not leave her in an asylum? No that is not what we are made of. The book is a reminder of the fact that ‘we are good beings, who know how to be affectionate even if we are being crucified at every step of our lives’.
Closer to the end father tells his son that ‘Always believe that you have friends’. He goes on and says ‘be ready to help others, and be prepared to ask for other’s help when you need it’. It may sound cliché when you read it first time, but when you have passed through the long arduous journey of reading the novel, you realize it means a lot to you.
I may not be the best reader or reviewer – but I am not shy to say that I have never read something which is so close to reality, to our day to day lives.
There are minute observations which the author makes, one of them is about our imaginary friends of childhood and teenage- who fade away when we grow old.
Well we all have our imaginary friends. We narrate our miseries, anger to them; they listen to us calmly without giving any prescription. The narrator had one too. When one goes a little deeper in the given observation, one learns that more than anything mankind needs a listener, not a reformer or revolutionary. Men and women can find their own path.
This book is a prescription for many who passed through traumatic childhood. Yes! Nobody desires feeling of pity; consider everyone equal even when we are aware of the vulnerabilities.