STORY BOOK REVIEW: CHADER PAHAR

Before I start to write a review, I’d like to take the opportunity to pat my own back. For there was a time when I really thought I’d never get around to reading Bengali literature – but here I am, having accomplished what I set out to do.

Shankar Choudhuri is the protagonist of ‘Chander Pahar’ (‘Mountain of the Moon’) by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, the novelist famous for penning the novels on which Satyajit Ray‘s Apu trilogy is based. Shankar is your brilliant youngster in every respect – a good student with decent grades, an excellent athlete & a thirst for knowledge & adventure in his life. However, the year is 1909 & what awaits him at the end of his schooling is an ordinary clerical job at a jute factory. So when an acquaintance offers him the oppprtunity to work abroad, Shankar grabs it with both hands & lands in the middle of Africa, working for the Ugandan Railway Company.