Thanks to Arup Mandal for this review!
“Aparthibo” is a stand out piece of fiction in context of Bengali genre literature.
It is one of the rarest of rare (a definite first for me) science fiction outing in Bengali which goes beyond the teenage fantasy boundaries and raises a matured original voice. It also happens to be an indigenious fiction piece inspired from various references from the history of cinema (no way limited to science fictions alone) put in with effective contextual flavour. However, the biggest achievement in my book would be the way Anindya Sengupta blends in politics in his premiere effort.
Bengali literature and cinema has been carefully left bereft of politics by its authors and auteurs for quite some time now barring few usual suspects. Gone are the days of “jibonmukhi” from the music arena as well. Bengali theatre still retains glimpses of political milieu but mostly coming out of adaptations from old classics. In such scheme of things “Aparthibo” occurs to be one critical piece of writing.
In its vision of the upcoming dystopian world, in its premotion of the future of the city, “Aparthibo” records our times-our state and makes us feel like dinosaurs. Ardent readers of the genre might find familiar motifs and themes (particularly reminiscent of Cixin Liu’s “Three Body Problem” trilogy with comparable premise) but would still be able to appreciate “Aparthibo’s” distinct individuality. With a fascinating premise, haunting dilemmas (not for the characters alone but the readers as well) and compelling finale “Aparthibo” is a profound milestone.
Thanks to friend Adway and Boibhashik for backing this up.