A heart warming book to unleash within you, deep pathos and creativity, First Light deals with Calcutta primarily in the 1930's alongside the fight for independence.
A beautifully woven tale across numerous renowned personalities, mansions, hackney carriages, ghats of Varanasi, the hills of North India, London and of course, the amalgamation of creativity and struggle amidst all this splendour which finally sees first light.....a smashing historical novel, to be more precise.
This book captures the irresistable charm and resonance of Calcutta in those days. The zamindar's mansions, huge palaces, Durga Puja's, expensive festivals, Rajas and Maharaja's, Theatre, actors and actresses, carriages, glamour, romance, evolution of art and creativity, the shimmering chandeliers ,the book draws one into it's depths until one gets carrried away. Yet at the opposite, there is poverty, struggles, the freedom struggle, the struggle of like-minded people like Ramkrishna and Vivekananda for social and national upliftment and of course the whole course being dominated by the British.
Swami Vivekananda's life, his immortal American Sojourn, his struggles and his equation with India, Sister Nivedita, and his innumerable contributions to india's upliftment dominate the book and offer a glimpse into his life, fight for upliftment and of course, his legendary conquest of America and London's minds and hearts. At the other side, there is the great Rabindranath Tagore, his life, his writings, his unmatchable literary contribution, his super-talents, his eccentric and rich family, his relationships. An irresistable combination. Then we have the excitement of the freedom struggle, the secret societies, the freedom fighters, we have Maharaja Birchandra of Orissa in a pivotal role, with his many queens and mistresses. The king's illegitimate child Bharat,leading a harsh life all through, finally to be united with his former love, Bhumisuta former maid and dancer but then theatre personality Nayanmoni. Indeed, a heart warming tale across many provinces, this book is a must read. It's unexpressable arousal of emotions and identification with our creative bursts and passions leaves one wondering about the vivacity of the author. And of course,there is theatre, in an unputdownable package through it's many ups and downs dominated by Girish Ghosh, the cat with more than nine lives.
In all, a book to be enjoyed and to be appreciated for it's creative passion inspired from within.