Blood by Sunil Gangopadhyay, (Translated by Dr. Debali Mookerjea-Leonard) — Short Thoughts
Navigating your owner static identities is a tricky job. As much as one might fight it, one’s inherited socio-political, and to a large extent, geo-cultural identity is difficult to escape from. Despite living in a hyper-globalised world, the very idea of which is being ironically challenged today, walking away from the ingrained identity associated with yourself is near impossible. Embracing this simple yet oft challenged notion is something essential for all of us aiming to master life in a post-COVID world.
It is absolutely fascinating how Gangopadhyay’s Blood, set in post-colonial London and Kolkata in the 1960s, is still relevant. Aptly titled, the book, despite presenting certain real yet socially problematic characters, slaps you in the face with a simple yet brutal depiction of confronting the history of kinship and one’s roots. Debali, in her translation, has somehow magically managed to distill the magic of Gangopadhyay’s work in chaste Bengali into the widely agreed as limiting language of English.
Personally, this book has forced me to confront my identity, not through my external actions, but through my innate persona, and the expression of generations of history through my genes. The raw, primal yet evolutionary demand of association is a difficult to fight instinct, and this book, will make you confront the ultimate expression of this deep desire, Blood.
Blood, as translated by Dr. Debali Mookerjea-Leonard, will be released by Juggernaut Books this Friday, on 22nd May 2020
Buy on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3bOcsMf
Kitabi Karwan also had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Mookerjea on our podcast, available here.