The Winter Song by Saurav Dutt is a fictional tale of one man who takes up the journey across the Spiti Valley of the Himalayans to honour the love of his dead wife. This novel advances slowly. It is for mature readers. It opens up one’s mind to see important things in life when we are left with no choice or are fully secluded by the wrath of God.
There are many life lessons, spiritual substance, and moral keys which I cannot describe fully in one review. People that have been reckless and careless to life and their loved ones should definitely peek into this book. The biggest achievement of this novel is to make the lead character John Perera realize that he was not up to the mark when he was going staunchly for the sake of his principles. He felt wasted in his life…more due to untimely death of his vagabond son and his wife Asima succumbs to cancer. The loss of family members jolts him so tumultuously that he takes a sabbatical from his teaching job and sets himself on a spiritual journey.
The broader side of the story is about John’s journey from Shimla to the Spiti Valley. He has to walk for days to cover 90 miles. But that is for his wife whom he promised to do something big when she was alive. Along the way, as the journey starts, the man begins finding answers about various aspects of life. For instance, he meets first a man suffering from cancer. John felt the love for death through that old man. He leaves him dead in his cottage and moves on. As he keeps meeting others, his perceptions about life gets optimum light. The biggest shock was that he failed as a husband and father.
The story seems straight but gets too much interruption in the form of sweeps, back stories, memories of his family members. At one time, I felt as the story got into crime thriller. John looked absolutely determined to dredge up the case of his son Jimmy, who died getting involved into drug and allied crimes. The novel shuttles a lot between various timelines. It is a slow burn. Part spiritual and part fictional memoir. I realize the power of the novel when I kept it away for some days. It is one such novel that keeps coming back to you. Saurav Dutt is a complete and fine author. His writing style is absorbing and lean.
Buy from Amazon.