The story of brief marriage is written by Anuk Arudpragasam and published by Harper Collins.
I should give full credit to the author, for picking up such a difficult topic and weaving a successful story around the same. It is not easy to write a book on civil unrest, wars, trauma. Stating the mental and physical condition of the characters, stuck in such situation, is difficult. It is difficult to bring out the true personality of the character, without being judgemental or being over sympathetic. Kudos to Anuk, for doing it beautifully.
The book talks about Sri Lankan civil war.Tamil minority is pushed towards the coast by advancing army. The central character Dinesh is part of refugees, he is numb to the violence around him. He has lost his home, mother and brother due to the shelling. It was heart rendering to read the account of his mother’s death. They were running from the shelling, when his mother gets hit and fall down. For a moment he was freezed, not knowing what to do. He moves ahead with the rest of the crowd, when he regain his senses, he return back to cover his mother with her sari. He decides to leave his bag with his mother, so that she does not feel lonely, in death. This was one of the many instances, where you can feel the pain of Dinesh. We take many things for granted in our daily life, like eating, bathing, brushing etc. While reading the book, I realized that for some people these simple acts are luxury. The author has beautifully depicted, when Dinesh gets soap and goes for a bath. The dirt that has caked his body, falls off gradually. In all this mess he gets married to Ganga, where after initial hesitation, they get aware of each other presence. Slowly, they start warming up to each other. But the war closes over them.
Hats off to Anuk for expressing the basic human needs and desires, even in adverse condition. Your heart warms up, when you read about Dinesh efforts, to make himself presentable and desirable for Ganga.
Why should you read the book:
Heart touching account of war.
Philosophical approach to life.