Dr. Viraj P. Thacker, the best-selling author of ‘The Myth of prosperity: Globalisation and the South’, has remained passionate about continuing his Late Mother’s work of a lifetime in the areas of Women & Children, the Environment, Sustainability & Social Justice. This has also led him to set up ‘Manushi for sustainable development’ of which he is the international executive director.
I am sharing a collage of the events associated with the above initiative as well as a thought-provoking article on Globalisation that he has published recently.
Environment, sustainability and Climate Change are areas I remain passionate about. My next book might just be in this area…..
Chief Engineer Arunabh Pal ,domain expert in Naval architecture and Marine Engineering, has the following to say after his engagement with the Chronicler.
“I have never attempted a book review, but this one is special : The Chronicler of the Hooghly.
“No words”, is the first thought that crosses my mind when I try to praise the book. Spellbound comes close to describing the feeling…but then it is not fair that such a stupendous piece of work from a good friend goes unsung.
I read the book at a leisurely pace, soaking in each crucible experience as the author calls it.
“Ashtami” leaves you gasping. Gasping for more as you suddenly appreciate the myriad emotions of a mother around a not-so-perfect child. One would like to think it happens only to others, but reality is often so different.
It is not difficult to relate to the double tragedies portrayed in “Pandemic” given the numerous human stories of struggle, failure, triumph and deceit unfolding around Covid today. You wonder about the timing of penning this story just as you marvel at the brilliance in creating the character Elokeshi.
“Fault Lines” unleashed a volley of unpleasant memories in me, of being a victim of an industrial explosion many moons back. I consider myself fortunate to have looked death in the eye and return. Anjan’s tryst with his conscience is scarily real. Savio succeeds in unsettling you. Stellar work there!
“The Chronicler Of The Hooghly” does just that: chart a mystical course amidst several (lesser known) historical facts and events and keeps you glued to the narrative even as you anticipate the next turn. It brings up the rear end rather well, resonating with the common theme of weaving history intricately into fiction to create four fascinating tales.
Spanning a century between the pandemics of 1919 and 2020, Dipen and Indranil are confronted by tragedies under vastly different societal conditioning and development. What is their link spanning four generations which arises from an old and dilapidated palace and its massive Shiva linga?
Can the Chronicler with his tale of the Pandemic come up to the expectations of Jayashri Ghosh , an avid reader in Kolkata?
Available worldwide on Amazon, Flipkart and select book stores.
Blogger Archana speaks of my profound way of articulating the tragedies of life.
I believe this articulation comes from seeing it as ‘Life Is’. The way we see situations as good or bad, tragedies or otherwise is really our perspective based on the experience lens we use to look at and make sense of them.
Looking at the involvement with the book, ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly’ , one notices the creativity and the interest of the millennials.
My earlier sense that the book, dealing with life’s crucible experiences, would gain traction with a more mature and elderly readership , seems to be incorrect. Somewhere in this ‘making sense’ for myself, my error of judgment seemed to have been to equate maturity with age.
Not only did the millennials participate in the ‘Chronicler of the Hooghly’ monthly contests and win, they also are forming a large part of the book readership.
Kanika Sud, winner of the ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly’ contest and her entry.
Sutanwi Ghosh , a millennial professional from Kolkata eager to checkout on the Chronicler!
Available worldwide on Amazon, Flipkart and select bookstores.
Reviewer Vishakha Raghav in her Vishing_Sky forum has this to say about the Chronicler of the Hooghly.
The Chronicler of the Hooghly is a historical fiction that is themed out in Kolkata, India. The book is 170+ pages of wonderland.
How did I feel while reading the book?
With every page turn, an emotion inside me unwrapped. Shakti has put his heart out while writing this book. The writing was captivating, “The characters were believable and I cared about them, the plots had a couple of twists and turns due to which I couldn’t put the book down.”
The book is divided into 4 short stories, they are different yet feel so connected deep down. The glimpse of these stories is taken from Shakti’s own experiences in the past with a great blend of fiction in it. I loved the way Shakti has concluded the stories, they left me with goosebumps.
Each story is thought-provoking, I could relate the most to the first two stories which are 1) Ashtami and 2) Pandemic. Ashtami is about a clerk in 1912 who has to move to a new city Delhi with his wife. How was their life in Delhi? In the time of the British Raj, what challenges the couple had to face? The pandemic of 1919 was very similar to the one in 2020 because both left humans with emotions that were so similar! I still can’t decide if Pandemics are impacting us externally or internally.
However some of these are a little complex in composition. One needs to think this book through. Sometimes it forces you to analyze your thoughts and guess what might happen next.
How I changed after reading this book?
People are the most important in our lives. The grief of losing someone can not be understood. I repeat it can not be understood, no matter what. This is what I learned from this book.
Available worldwide on Amazon, Flipkart and select bookstores.
The Book recommendation video by Book Nerds alludes to the underlying theme of ‘Crucible Experiences’ in each of the stories.In our lives, we at times get confronted with intense and traumatic events which force us to question who we are, what really matters to us and what we believe in. In some ways these events alter our sense of reality.Each of the four stories in this book draw inspiration from such crucible events that I have had to face. The protagonists in that sense carry a bit of my own ‘experience and thought’ genes. As I see them now within the larger fabric of the stories, I do notice shades of myself and others who have been part of my life. Writing the stories has been a personal journey in that sense. At times the stories seemed to write themselves.
Available Worldwide on Amazon, Flipkart and select bookstores.
Moolya Foundation is a global non-profit organisation with an aim to bring greater inclusivity in public affairs through digital leadership.
The mission of Moolya Foundation is to expand the conversation surrounding public affairs and empower every citizen in the digital age where marginalisation of the common people is fast growing.
To abridge the socio-economic, political and information inequalities in digital societies, Moolya Foundation envisions creating future leaders in public affairs who shall be at the forefront to represent the interest of the common people.
Do see this first part of my freewheeling session with Neha Gour of Moolya Foundation in which we discuss ‘Is Digital Leadership a Skill or a Mindset?’ As happens at such times, The Chronicler of the Hooghly also gets discussed!