On the horizon of Indian English literature, there are many authors who deserve to be appreciated and there are many, as well, who just get their readership – far and wide – without deserving appreciation for their art and craft. Authors of popular fiction extract their sales figures because youths love reading them. Authors of serious fiction garner appreciation from critical or academic readers because they like reading those. However, there is a class in between, authors of serious and yet entertaining fiction and readers love reading them too. These readers are somewhere in between academic and casual, readers who can trace quality in a piece of literature. Sudipta Roy is an author who can represent the writers providing seriousness and entertainment together, without compromising on any front. His debut novel published almost two years ago, A Dumb’s Story, has been appreciated by both, critics and readers.
The USP or, we can say, quality marker in the debut novel by Sudipta Roy is his theme, serious and broad, and his treatment of the same. I have read novels that promise too much in terms of content and deliver actually nothing or very little. However, Sudipta promises nothing – rather the story of a person who is dumb and aspires to hustle in politics, a game of those who can speak loud and lucrative. However, within this limited context or premise rather, the author has tried to bring to the readers the experiences and emotions, ideas and scenarios and so on… that the readers will love. In short, the author has the capacity to build a novel out of a very limited notion.
Sudipta’s success as an author also lies in his style and language. He has kept his narrative as simple as it could be. Moreover, he also offers the readers a gap so that they can predict the future course of action. At the same time, the author puts to himself the right to alter the future of his characters – the protagonist in A Dumb’s Story, Nairit, often defies the supposed trajectory in modern fiction. Such surprises by the author make the readers curious and alert, active and excited till the novel ends. The language that Sudipta uses is very simple, easily understandable and very close to what contemporary authors generally use. This gives an edge to the author in breaching the circles of readers with limited interest in literature but a wide interest in contemporary English fiction. English literature today is about reaching as much audience as one can and Sudipta certainly knows how to reach his target readers.
Yes, there are certain limitations to the writing practice as well and this applies to all the authors, irrespective of their success or failure. Sudipta Roy’s writing tends to become a little too unrealistic when we get into the depths of his debut novel, A Dumb’s Story. Everything is good if we accept it as a work of fantasy fiction. However, since the author has been honest in picturing the protagonist and his struggles, the treatment could have been rather close to the honest world outside and around us to give the novel an edge and literary favour. A protagonist getting everything he wishes might not appeal as much as a protagonist having to wrestle for his share and ideals…
To cut things short and to sum up the writings and contribution of Sudipta Roy to Indian English literature, one has to wait. Though the author has tried to reflect his ideas and literary capabilities with his debut work, we will have to read more of his works due to be published in the coming months and years so that we can arrange his literary qualities and assess the same with a wide view. As of now, he is certainly better than many debutants who make their convenient debuts with romantic or sensual novels. Sudipta has shown his readers he can work on a serious theme, relate social issues to his plot and make his protagonist look like a common man looking to achieve common and uncommon feats.
Indian English literature does need more authors like the one being discussed here. We have two exact extremes right now – one in the category of romantic or rather sensualists who make no sense to serious readers and one being too, extremely absurd at times like Amitav Ghosh and Anita Nair who bait their issues with subtle ideological propaganda and thus depriving the readers of the reading pleasure and a connect that we often look for as we read contemporary fiction. I can be dubbed as a fool by readers who blindly follow authors but I think this one work by Sudipta has better connotations than the famous work by Aravind Adiga – The White Tiger.
By Rupesh for Egoistic Readers