The Death of Vishnu : Manil Suri

This review is long overdue. After reading Aki's review for the book, I didn't feel like I could add more to it, so I left it. But every time I traveled through the roads of Bombay and saw the old houses passing by (some where if you stretch your hand you could probably pick up a few things!), I thought of this book. I tried to capture them in camera. The pictures don't bring out the details of people's lives that you can see, but I hope they give an idea.

I don't doubt that their lives are same as those living in the tall buildings sprouting all over Bombay, but the fact that you can almost look into their houses, makes one feel like you are in their world. The Death Of Vishnu has definitely cropped up from one such meandering thought of the author. It lets you in in the world of the people who live in an apartment complex. He has given a story to this world that passes by me while I live my life.

The center of this world is Vishnu an odd-job man who lives on the staircase of the building and who is obviously dying. It is said a person's life passes him by as he dies. What I liked about the book was how Manil Suri easily brings together Vishnu's past and his present. As Vishnu fades in and out of his memories, hallucinations, Manil Suri fades in and out of the lives of the people living in the apartment.

I especially like how he has blended Hindu mythology with life in general, which is very interesting because I've always felt that Hindu mythology has all kinds of characters which are more lifelike than godlike.

There are parts to the book where I had to force myself to keep reading because of the ramblings into faith and rhetoric of faith and life in limbo, but I mainly liked the premise of life and death being balanced around Vishnu. I am curious to see how he takes this concept forward with his trilogy.


Swati said...

I love the photographs you have added in your blog! I cannot agree more with you about how it is living places such as these that are brought to life in Suri's novel. I am also waiting to pick up his next book...perhaps after you review it here? :)

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