“You are a king by your own fireside, as much as any monarch in his throne” – Miguel de Cervantes.
A house isn’t just four walls or a roof over your head. It isn’t simply the amalgamation of bricks, sand and cement. A house is more than just a shelter. According to me, It is the place where people seek solace, where memories are made and where we spent most of our time in this mundane life.
Jaishree Misra’s new book “A House For Mr. Misra” is an autobiographical account of her family’s venture to build a house by the sea and settle in the author’s hometown of Kerala shifting their base from London. The cover design is simple and seductive with a home besides the sea and the befiting title embossed in golden letters. The resplendent cover would be a major factor in wooing the reader to pick up the book in bookstores apart from its intruiging blurb. Kudos to Saurav Das for a fitting cover to an amazing book.
Mr.M who is from Uttar Pradesh and the author, a Malayali herself go through a maslin of trials which include dealing with deceitful builders, a corrupt bureaucracy, and perplexing environmental legislations when they set out to build their dream home by the sea. Also their tryst with the temperamental maid, the wild bus drivers and suicidal snakes makes for witty episodes in the book. The tryst with the Trivandrum corporation and the snake bite episode are the highlights of the book.
The bewitching locales of Kerala is written with such preciseness which is alluring and makes our mind run in the wild. The book is lucid with the author’s experience relatable to most readers and this makes the book a compelling read. The book is a short one with 21 chapters and fell short within 200 pages. The writing is simple interlaced with humour all the way which also makes it a delectable tale to devour. The author had tried to give us a honest account of her endeavour in bulding a house in Kerala. There are only a few characters (with only some names mentioned) and they stay in our minds mostly like the author’s mother who was living peacefully her retired life until the author descended upon.
Although the book deals with incidents that are prior to building the house, the readers would expect tales from the process of settling down in the newly built house. It’s hard to know that the house now lies empty for periods of time. On a happy note the author’s offer of the house to anyone who wishes to occupy “OceanSpray” (the name of the house) while finishing a written piece of work is a welcoming move.
The tale ends with the quote “Those mad enough to love the sea will find any excuse to keep going back in” and I wish the author too finds her excuse moving back to the house by the sea given the struggle they underwent to build it.
The short book is interesting with its quirky witty episodes and some weary incidents. How many books will leave you smiling at the end? This book surely will, I assure.
“It is my belief that the typical Malayali brain has an overdeveloped fear/anxiety centre in the amydala. Which is why, when presented with a decision as innocent as say, whether to buy an ice-cream cone, it’s the worst-case scenario that I will always conside first. (e.g., Hepatitis B, typhoid, gastroenteritis and sore throat, in roughly that order) until I finally succumb to temptation. “
“Those mad enough to love the sea will find any excuse to keep going back in”
Book Details :
Author: Jaishree Misra
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Westland Publications
Genre: Non Fiction
ISBN: 9789386850485, 9386850486
Rating: 3 / 5
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