First Published in Springtide - Inspiring Youth Igniting Minds on 11th December 2014
Author: Bhavya Kaushik
Published by: Petals Publishers
First Edition: December 2014
Number of Pages: 200
After hurriedly reading the blurb on the back of The Infinite Equinox (TIE) first, my inattentive mind assumed that it is the journey of a girl from the streets of India to a well-settled life in Seattle.
Only after I reached mid-way of the journey of TIE did I realize that it is not just a single journey – there are two.
The first being the escape of the protagonist from the cruel begging rackets prevalent in the country and the second being the quest of the protagonist to find her origins not only for mental peace but also to be able to survive.
It is essential for Tamanna, the protagonist to find her parents or siblings in order to survive the cancer she was detected with – Leukemia.
Being abducted at an early age, Tamanna has no memory of the place she used to live in with her family. She remembers the tiny apartment she was brought to in order to beg on the streets and fill the purse of a cruel “mother” of such children – Amma, her real name being Meenakshi.
Some of the other children she meets during that phase, become her friends for life – a girl of the same age, Radha, a younger boy, Sonu and an elder-sister-like-figure, Sunita didi.
It was serendipity (or “destiny” as people call it) and a little courage that helped Tamanna and her mates escape the clutches of Meenakshi to lead a better life in one of the Orphanage cum Shelter Houses in Jaipur. Tamanna’s determination and act of courage makes her overcome the fear of Amma and turn her (Amma) in to the cops.
Another stroke of destiny and Tamanna is in Seattle with her doting husband, Vikram. The love between them is depicted quite beautifully in the book. Sometimes, love does feel like the stroke of a magic wand.
It’s the grief and the loneliness that the protagonist feels at times, that is portrayed so beautifully in the book that makes the reader break down into tears. The story doesn’t end in love because love is not always an ending, death however is.
Tamanna and Vikram are appalled by the news of her cancer, the remedy being bone-marrow transplantation. Tamanna determines to go back to India in search of her parents not only for a matching bone-marrow but also to find the answers of the numerous questions she asked herself her entire life.
Radha and Vikram help her in the quest to find her happy ending.
Although TIE talks of destiny but it is not entirely about fate – it is about making peace with what one gets in the name of destiny. Not all endings are happy and sometimes it depends on the way you look at it.
TIE is about the ugly truth that the beggars we see on the streets are a part of a much bigger world of criminals, not by choice but by fate that was written on their hands by a bunch of cruel felons. TIE is the reality that although we know of the existence of these rackets, we do nothing about it and simply pay the child or turn our heads away.
TIE is not about moving on without looking back; it is about reminiscing and recalling the past not just the way you want it to but the way it is – both good and bad. TIE is about the beautiful gift we call life; it is not only about surviving it but also living it. It is about the immense love one person can give to another be that person a lover, a parent, a sibling, a friend or sometimes, an acquaintance.
The book is indeed beautifully written. Bhavya Kaushik, who had previously written The Other Side of the Bed, is known for the grief-stricken poems and quotes he writes. One of such beautiful poems is hidden in his second book, TIE, which is named the same.
Here are my favourite lines from the poem-
She sits there, bare, denuded, without any skin to cover or hide
Her abyssal wounds dancing on her bones, and her skeleton…
Her soul resurrects and suffocates, with the passage of dusk and dawn,
When aphonic nights eats the seeds of every animated days burning with passion.
I steal a star as I rate it 4/5 since it contains some grammatical errors; but in comparison to other books by publishing houses which allow errors to slip through, these errors are too few.
“But he never understood, how humiliating and embarrassing it was for me, to expose myself with t.hat disgusted condition in front of my husband. The problem didn’t lie inside of him, it lay inside of me”
- - Page no. 186, The Infinite Equinox