A drop of light illumines the darkness; A touch of love fluxes the mind.
A drop of light illumines the darkness; A touch of love fluxes the mind.
Vibrant and intense, The Space Between Us unfolds the turbulent story of a family, separated in the wake of the riots of 1965. Opening in a lesser-known village of East Pakistan, it snakes its way through the dark and infamous alleyways of Calcutta to the dazzling world of Bengali cinema.
Extreme religious turbulence, fractures the once rich Dutta family, into splinters, resulting in heart wrenching separations. Two siblings are individually thrown into unstoppable journeys that are unique and solitary.
The space between them remains as destiny takes each on their individual paths to a defining conclusion.
Spanning generations, this sweeping novel deftly weaves love and social and historical circumstance into an unforgettable tapestry that spans the limits of love and empathy and the varied hues of human relationships.
What is it that shapes individual destiny? Can fate be scripted anew? And by whom?
The Space Between Us is a poignant story of enduring emotional power that attempts to reconcile the notion of individual destiny against the canvas of life.
The novel, The Space Between Us unfolds a resonant story of four estranged siblings against the backdrop of the riots of 1965. And a film maker, scion of a successful Calcutta based businessman, who unwittingly connects them in the journey of his life.
The story commences from Alasin, a small village in the Mymansingha district of East Pakistan, and snakes its way to some of the darkest alleys of 1970’s Calcutta to the dazzling world of Bengali cinema to Oxford, to Berhampore to Bagnan to Kalimpong, spanning generations.
The novel opens when the two protagonists, Pari and Pakhi, girls of ten then, lives a carefree life in their village home with the two other siblings, Nikhil and Madhabi, their parents and a pair of resident helps, Abdul Chacha and Golap Bibi. Fate and fortune was their consistent companions, until cruel sparks of the riots burn the familial thread into cinders and let the kinfolks scatter away. Each travels his own path, as vulnerable to destiny’s blows and brawls as the other.
THE CROSSROADS is a story of Aparajita Basu, a girl from a humble household of Kolkata, who tears from her family to settle her roots in America, with her childhood friend, Aniruddha. To Aparajita, he is everything she ever wanted.
Love dwindles slowly. Fate turns in a blink.
Disheartened, she returns back; not to her hometown but to a different city where she finds herself a stranger. Haunted by her disturbed thoughts, obsessed by that one name, she finds no escape… until she discovers herself, standing on a new crossroads.
An ordinary girl, who loses herself to love.
A lover, who turns out to be a betrayer.
A friendship born on a stormy night.
A wisdom bred out of miseries.
A home coming that completes one full cycle.
Three Cities… Two Friends… One Girl… One Story.
The Crossroads is a story of a young girl, Aparajita Basu from a poverty stricken household of North Kolkata. Throughout her childhood she witnesses hopelessness, hardship and privation, and her father’s impassive acceptance of everything. Being a single child she falls prey to her mother’s incorrigible aspirations and over ambition. Slowly she begins to dislike her mother.
Quite early in her life, Aparajita falls in love with her classmate and neighbor Aniruddha Chatterjee. Aniruddha belongs to one of the rich households of her locality. First friendship, then childhood sweetheart, finally culminating into a full blown love affair that turns the two families
into enemies of sorts. But that does not disturb the lovers even to the slightest. Together they dream of going to the United States for higher studies and settling there.
The dream is beyond Aparajita’s financial capability. Her parents try to stop her, but she disobeys. Her father loans the amount against insurmountable hardship. Aparajita disregards everything, leaves her parent’s home and travels to the US with Aniruddha. They meet Raunak Gupta in the airport, who travels with them and apparently with the same dream. Raunak is the only son of rich doctor parents. A possessor of grace and intelligence, extreme good looks and a big heart. During the course of the journey, Raunak befriends Aparajita. She begins to enjoy his jovial spirit and happy camaraderie.
America welcomes them with outstretched arms. Life suddenly appears to be ‘a dream come true’. Love quickly transforms into lust. Aparajita and Aniruddha end up in bed making more love than money. Like all good things come to an end, theirs does too. Slowly and steadily life changes its tempo; love follows suit. And lust flies out of the window. The incessant demand to perform seeps into their relationship and nibbles the passion away. The need for money adds fuel to the fire. Aniruddha bags a job as teaching assistant. And Aparajita ends up working in a pizza parlor for a few dollars and a bite of pizza.
While studies and part time job keeps her on the toes, Aniruddha drifts away from her life beyond her knowledge. It is Raunak who brings into her notice Aniruddha’s romantic intermingling with Leena Mathur, a second generation American Indian whose father is a professor of Physics. Violent fight breaks out between the old lovers, eventually leading to an abrupt parting.
Shocked and saddened Aparajita breaks all her ties with Aniruddha. On an impulse she leaves his house too and lands up in Raunak’s apartment. There she stays for a while. Like a good friend, Raunak supports her, advices her to do what is right, encourages her to continue with her education. Offers her a financial help. But something inside her refuses to accept the sad reality. Desperate she returns back to India.
Aparajita quits America, leaves Aniruddha behind. And yet the hurt lingers inside her, makes each of her moments bitter, unpalatable.
With Raunak’s help and reference, she bags a job in Chennai, and shares an apartment with Ragini, her colleague. Ragini is a good natured Tamil
girl who works and earns, and apparently lives for the sake of her family. Initially Aparajita remains isolated, keeping her mind busy with work, but gradually she falls in love with her. And the more she sees Ragini, the more she gets to know her, understand her, the more mesmerized she feels about her. Inevitably she compares her life with that of Ragini’s. The futility of everything Aparajita has done so far in comparison to Ragini’s selfless bearings. Her incorrigible love for her family.
During her return journey from the US, Aparajita meets a Chennai based Bengali gentleman, Tathagata Roy, a one of a kind man. Tathagata is a middle aged executive of a renowned business group of India; a man who had lost his family in a car accident. Soon Aparajita and Tathagata become friends. But this friendship is nothing like she has experienced in the past. Tathagata’s wise demeanor, the ripe maturity of his bearings wins her. It is through her interactions with him, and certain events that closely follow, that convinces Aparajita to return home to her parents and start all over again. A fresh spark is ignited inside her, as she gets greater insight into her own being.
Aparajita finally makes peace with her past, forgives Aniruddha once and for all, writes him a parting mail and moves ahead with her life.
The Crossroads is a journey of a woman from girlhood to womanhood, who through her own worldliness and conflicting experiences of all the various people whom she befriends (Raunak, Ragini and Tathagata) realizes her true potential. It’s a voyage from ordinary to beyond.