Books - Non Fiction

Book review: Wild Wind – My stormy youth, an Autobiography (Taslima Nasreen)

People, BEG BUY OR STEAL this book and read it ASAP. I don’t know if there can ever be another autobiography that is so open and so frank, like this one. Taslima Nasreen is a Bangladeshi author, who lives in exile now. That’s not because of this book, as this one is the least controversial of all her works!! It seems, this book has been translated by Nandini Guha. I guess this book was originally published in Bangla.

There are people like me, who struggle to recollect even small incidents from childhood. But looks like, this author’s brain is made of hard-disk (or better, SSD)! Second, I now realize how uninteresting and uneventful my life has been, after reading this book. I’ll have to admit that life in South India (for the majority) pales in comparison with the lively atmosphere of all those small towns (mentioned in this book) in Bangladesh!!

The incidents mentioned in this book mostly takes place in the ’80s. It’s quite common to find the patriarchal society pictured in this book throughout the Indian sub-continent. In spite of the strict atmosphere (and several warnings), the author finds ways to do what she desires. Admirable guts!

If her activities stun us, the activities of people around the author are even more stunning. Every damn thing (including affairs) that happens around the author is promptly and indifferently recorded by the author. The book is written as if the author is writing about someone who lived before many centuries!

The nonchalant, casual, mostly humorous (for us) tone makes us feel in one with her family. Yes, that’s what I felt after reading this book – Baba, Ma, Dada, Chhotda, Yasmin, Geeta, Haseena, Suhrid, etc. feel like our own family.

The first half of this book goes like a breeze. It’s fun & frolic for the author and also for us, readers. All the shocks are reserved for the second half. The first shock, apart from all the minor shocks before that (which you’ll get accustomed to, by the time you get here), is Chandana’s marriage. The author wonders why, and so do we.

The biggest shock, of course, comes in the form of Rudra. The author’s lover, husband and lover. Well, you’ll understand why I chose this order only after you read the book. Can you imagine someone who writes such brilliant poetry, can have a dark side? Frankly, his poetry is stunning and his attitude (as described by the author) is wonderful. But in spite of all that, one wonders why the author had to go through all that pain & trouble.

This book highlights what can happen if you casually ‘fall in love’ without checking the background of a person. Of course, you might be lucky, but not everyone are. This book is a rude awakening to the fact that one addiction leads to another, and another, and another. Finally, a person is controlled by their addictions and not their mind. Enough said, I don’t want to reveal the entire outline story of the book!

Will I be able to write whatever little is happening in my family, so frankly, in spite of having an autobiography section in my blog? No, Never. Can I do this after 30 years? Maybe some, but not all.

Read this book if you are a poetry lover. I hate poetry, but I loved the works of Chandana, Taslima Nasreen and Rudra. Beautiful and powerful poetry. If the translation is so good, I wonder how good is the original! This John Milton (and his types) might want to learn how to write poetry, from this book. Unfortunately, those English authors are no more but their poems keep torturing students at school!

This book is for everyone else too. This will go down as the frankest autobiography of all times. No doubt.


Destination Infinity


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