Book Review: Rukhsat The Departure by Sujit Banerjee

While some books sell based on their flashy covers and unrealistic content, some books shout for your attention through their simplicity and intensity.

Rukhsat The Departure is the latter kind. It’s a collection of 26 short stories that address different subjects and introduces you to various characters that make you drown in their story. You would wish that you don’t think about them much, but you wouldn’t be able to.

About the author

Sujit Banerjee was born in Lucknow and brought up in Patna. He has a degree in psychology but, just like me, practices something completely different than what he studied. He works in tourism at present and also has that particular skill of reading tarot cards. He lives in Delhi at the moment and Rukhsat The Departure is his first book.

About the book – Rukhsat The Departure

rukhsat the departure

I will focus on three aspects of this book – writing, characters, and storyline.

Writing

Let me tell all possible situations in which a reader would pick up this book. Either someone like you would read a review somewhere on the internet and get impressed by this book so much that he immediately buys this book or someone from the rare species that love bookstores will randomly pick up this book, open the first chapter, read one page and will buy it.

There are no exceptions to this, not if we assume that whosoever hears about or picks this book is in love with excellent writing. It’s crucial to have a fantastic start to the book, and the author nails it with his writing. Where were you all this time?

Such a beautiful and simple writing that ignites emotions in you and the sleeping reader in you is a delight, and I would recommend anyone who is looking for beautiful writing to pick up this book and enjoy.

Characters

As Rukhsat the departure is a collection of short stories, it has some characters and it’s a huge challenge for the author to make a mark in the reader’s mind with such a limited space for each character. But he does that job excellently.

Some characters are still hovering in mind even after I finished reading this book a few days back. There are some characters which I want to know more and learn more about.

Character building is excellent and has been done in a magical manner. I wonder how much time author took to write this book. It just drools of efforts.

Story and theme

Let’s talk about the most intense part of this book. Every story deals with a different theme, and they’re dark and gloomy. You would fear to drown in those emotions, and you would fear thinking about any story for long.

Twenty-six stories follow twenty-six alphabets and focus on a different character and theme with each. Some of them are connected, and it just makes everything so much better.

The first story Abhimanyu – The beginning is just dominated by excellent writing, and you wouldn’t think anything else apart from your will to appreciate the book.

Just when it hits you that you need to read the story as well, you will meet Bhushan – The Illegitimate Son. You will see the pain of a child who grows up with unanswered questions.

Chitra – The Marriage introduces you to a woman desperate for her husband’s attention and Devesh – The confession is about that patchy phase of marriage when you love your spouse, but things aren’t working smoothly anymore.

Eklavya – My Real name is not Gustav is about a confession through a letter that gets too late to be delivered. After a few pages, you will find this story Gustav – Fifty-Eight Years which you will be able to connect to because of Eklavya. The stream of emotions will be uncontrollable.

Farzana – The Needles is a story of dark pain, and this is the kind of story I pointed to when I said the book is intense and often gloomy.

Hemakshi – Raag Jogia is a beautiful story of a childless woman intertwined with her love for music. Indu –The Untold story is again a story that has a wonderful concept, and I wouldn’t want to reveal it to avoid spoilers.

Jaba – Flower For The Goddess is the story of a daughter who yearns to leave her house and Karan – An ordinary man is a story of a regular college student who gets into a uniquely satisfying habit. This story further intertwines with Manu – The Trial and Siraj – Manu Egg Rolls.

Lotika – The Apartment follows a woman who is burdened with running her house for her husband helps with nothing and she has to earn the daily bread. Nitin – Bent Minds is the story of love gone wrong and focuses on hatred and revenge.

Omi – Looking for Palash is the boy who has to move to a new city because his parents separated and then it further connects with Palash – Letter to an Ex-lover which is about untold things and unexpressed emotions and yearning for the love.

Qamar – The Letter Box is a simple yet extremely gorgeous story where the protagonist finds a letter box and starts reading several letters. Each letter is a story and makes you uneasy for that’s the theme of this book. Dark stories to make you think, sometimes cringe and then just appreciate the beauty of telling stories.

Reena – station 55 is about a radio show where people talk about their life anonymously and in this story, some weird things happen. Thammaiah – 12951 Express is one of my favorites of all for it deals with a subject that always makes me shiver and I wish it never happens to anyone. The story is followed by Utkarsh – Unfinished Business and you will need to read both the stories to discover that subject and the seriousness behind it.

Varun – The End is a story that makes you think of the pain a sick person suffers through and Waseem – The paper boy is much related to the story of Karan- An Ordinary man. It maybe or may not be as I didn’t spend much time to connect the dots. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to come out of the stories then.

X for Xitij – The diary is another beautiful story that builds up a great read, and the next two stories are again connected and beautifully expressed. Yasmin Bibi –The Second Marriage and Z for Zayan – The smell of Green Apple talks of the pain of separation and how it changes a person.

It amazes me to see I remember what every story was about in so much detail even when I decided not to think about it. That’s how beautiful this book is.

Final Verdict

This book begins with excellent writing, but the stories are what that’ll leave a mark on you. You will cherish the experience of reading this book for a long time. It was a break from usual happy go lucky or just sad stories. The book is packed with powerful emotions of different kinds, and it’s way too beautiful to be ignored. Grab it if you want to read a good book.

My Ratings: 4.5/5

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