Ri-Homeland of Uncertainty is set against a background of insurgent and counter-insurgent violence in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya, India. It’s a novella about alienated, misguided expectations in the midst of oppressive realities and secession. The novella narrates the reality of an ethnic and religious minority of a peripheral state.
The three main characters are Manbah, Kyndiah and Emika. Manbah, the deviated youth is the front-runner of the story. He has the complicity of any alienated youth. He is torn between his personal need and the collective devotion to perceived “freedom”. We do see the humane aspect in his characterization as well as in the character of Kyndiah. The dedicated Cop who mirrors his humane sensibility through duty, loyalty and valor. The third character, the effector/reactor for change is Emika…A loving, dutiful Mother and teacher. (I would say, the gender role was a deductive element in the narrative)
I found the sociopolitical subject foreboding. The pacing and development is like a chase thriller. The language is fluid in its imagery and paints a natural picture of the misty hill town. The flow is easy without any pretentious justification. The narrative does not deviate from it’s crux…i.e individual and national identity. The author tightens the screw with inventive twist of betrayal and deceit. The sequencing is highly convincing, narrating between Shillong, Bangladesh, past and present.
The thin line between patriotism and terrorism has been debated at the soul-searching conclusive parts.
The book is a easy-read with vivid imagery and thrilling momentum. All the best wishes for Paulami for taking the feat.