I was much intrigued by the title of this book when I first came to know about it. The blue-green mystic cover added to that curiosity and I couldn’t say No to reviewing this one on the blog, though I am not doing many book reviews these days. The fact that this was a short story collection spanning across geographies meant that there was a travel angle to it-so I already liked the book before even beginning to read! The Sacred Sorrow of Sparrows
About The Author Inspired by The Little Prince at the age of seven, Siddharth Dasgupta resolved to explore and experience the horizons of the universe when he grew up. He appears to have come good on that promise combining travel with cultural immersion and contributing regularly to aesthetic magazines and travel journals alike. Siddhartha’s fiction is infused with travel details, imbued in lyricism and magic realism, and enriched by a meditative touch. His first work of fiction, Letters from an Indian Summer, was published in 2014. This is his second book, about which he says – “These aren’t particularly sad stories. At least they weren’t meant to be….”
The ten stories in this collection are based through various geographies spanning across India (Wellington, Mumbai, Lucknow), Dubai, Afghanistan, Japan and Turkey. Cities in these stories are not just cities, they are characters which have a life and path of their own. These places are weaved into stories with such intricate detail that they are really irreplaceable. I guess it is Siddharth’s prior travel writing experience which makes these cities come alive in his stories. I particularly loved how seamlessly a place is woven into a story, without overpowering the essence of what the plot actually is about. The Sacred Sorrow of Sparrows
These tales are tales of life really – everyday characters we come across, doing the things they do. The stories of love, longing, letting go, death, hope, denial, acceptance – there are multitude of flavours that bind this book together, but with an underlying tone of melancholy that refuses to settle down. One keeps on hoping against hope – that’s what we humans really do – and then one day the grief is left behind and healing takes over. That’s how life comes full circle and Siddharth has portrayed this cycle of life in a manner which makes the reader want to stop and think.
It’s a beautiful book, one that I would love to re-read, because the stories really have layers under them. I am sure I’ll unfold many of them by reading again. The characters stay with you long after you’ve finished the story and moved on. Some stories are so poetic that you just don’t want them to finish, Siddharth’s words making you stop and re-read a few lines for sheer beauty of what they are trying to say. As much as I love to read, it’s hard to come across such lines which leave you wishing for more. The author says that the tales were not meant to be sad, but then that’s the thing with sadness – it seeps through and I am glad it did, because that’s what made these stories realistic yet beautiful. Broken isn’t always bad, broken is beautiful in a way that is hard to understand, but once you do, broken will always be beautiful. You can buy the book here The Sacred Sorrow of Sparrows The Sacred Sorrow of Sparrows