BY Harsimran Kaur ON Oct 19 , 2021 IN BOOK REVIEWS, A PASSAGE NORTH/ANUK ARUDPRAGASAM/FICTION
“A Passage North” by Anuk Arudpragasam is an introspection of an individual’s tryst with his own experiences and disillusionment. The book highlights a pensive and cathartic journey of Krishan, imperceptibly unfolding the invidious flattery of life and its implications, making one impugn the paradox.The words of wisdom in the book narrate the expanse of disguised vulnerability of the mind with marvel profundity; the words invasively gathering the past and present like beads of a jewel incarnated together against the skin dilapidated by the perplexities of life.
Our perceptions are a manifestation of our own beliefs and inhibitions. As we bury ourselves in the fragile territory of the anguish, betrayal, dejection and discontentment befalling from the others poignant terrain of deprivation, we learn to hold the barrel of human behaviour with objectivity.
The journey of Krishan is a salvation of his undervalued and wayward mind predisposed to inclinations which are ephemeral until his ears are blocked to the news of the sudden demise of his Grandmother’s caregiver “Rani.” It helps him rail through a black hole of ambiguities to a vast firmament of enlightenment and cognizance. Reeling through the macabre torment of the civil war that engulfed Sri Lanka for decades, Krishan leaves India to relentlessly work for the North-eastern province of his country occupied by the ghettoized Tamil identities. He leaves behind a past which slices his inner equanimity; a path he traced with his lady love Anjum to be shattered by ideological differences.
Anuk Arudpragasam has beautifully corroborated life’s insurmountable wounds with atavistic anachronisms, and explicitly concluding how revelations are born the moment any insignificant sight makes our vision behold the significance of its arrival.
The journey Krishan takes to be a part of Rani’s funeral is not only a physical journey to pass the ploughed fields and thicket of trees and bushes, but an introspective journey of the mind of what is lost and what can be initiated to make life more relevant. The scaling of wheels against the rail track is a sound we often hear, but what propels the deep penetration of the track to remain in sync with the round metal on top calls for the same vigour and wisdom to sync our inclinations to the vicissitudes of life.
It is a story of belongingness, compassion and has an irresistible charm in defining the philosophy of life and death.