Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay is famous for his quirky, entertaining short stories and novellas in Bangla. The Aunt who wouldn’t die is a novella that serves as a perfect example of his writing style. It is a translated edition of Goynar Baksho, and the translation has been beautifully done by Arunava Sinha who is one of the best in his field.
Young Somlata is married to an ancestral family in Bengal who were once upon a time rich landlords and are still living off the remains from those riches. Somlata soon finds out that the men of the family are useless nincompoops and their expensive possessions are gradually dwindling. She cannot just stand by and witness the downfall of her family. On the other hand, Roshomoyee, Somlata’s aunt-in-law, dies mysteriously and lives on even after her death. She regularly haunts Somlata with her notorious activities, witty quips and sometimes helpful advice. Will Somlata be able to rescue her family? Does Roshomoyee’s box of gold jewellery help in that agenda? Is Boshon really Somlata’s daughter or is there some other mystery underlying that truth?
About the story, Mukhopadhyay has brilliantly portrayed three strong women through three generations overcoming the contemporary society’s numerous hurdles. Whether it is Roshomoyee’s child marriage or Somlata’s fierceness to help her family business run. Boshon’s headstrong feminine qualities is something that women of our generation can relate to. Also the plot development was rapid and doesn’t let the readers get bored even for a minute. The relaxed and royal life of the ancestral houses are exquisitely portrayed in the book and leaves the reader’s minds with a vivid imagination.
About the translation, Sinha’s excellent translation gives you a glimpse into the original writing style of the author in Bengali. The essence of the story is intact yet, it comes out as an independent novella in English. Someone who has already read the regional version can agree with me here that every minute beauty of the narration is emphasised and cherished throughout this edition. Bee Books, the publishers of this book are to be congratulated for accomplishing this task.
If you are looking for some light, fun regional read to fall in love with, pick The Aunt who doesn’t Die and be ready to fall back and enjoy the literature.
Publisher : Bee Books
Pages : 143
Rating : 5 / 5
You can buy the book here.