Title: Murmur of the Lonely Brooks
Author: Debashis Dey
Date of Publication: November 1, 2012
Barnes & Noble
After marriage Nisha comes to a remote village in the mountainous Tibetan Border to lead a life among a nomadic clan who follow a simple lifestyle with customs and rituals overlapping Hinduism and Buddhism dating back to ancient times.
Pravin is a private person by nature and is happy to marry Nisha, the girl of his choice. Nisha is liked by everyone. Nisha loves her husband Pravin but also enjoys the infatuation from his brother. She spends her days happily with a perpetually sad mother-in-law Parvati repenting on her past life sins, a short tempered father-in-law Shevak, a love-stricken sister-in-law Ria, a kid goat munching everything, a lamb with a baritone bleat and her husband’s brother Diwakar lost in dreams.
Everything goes well until Nisha’s life is torn apart by a proposal, and assumed betrayal, by the one and only love of her life, her husband Pravin when he suggests common marriage, an ancient tradition still followed in this region in which both brothers share a single wife, Nisha. The family is supportive save Nisha who is horrified by the thought of sharing her love with someone for whom she has a brotherly affection.
She cannot protest or disagree as it will make her an outcast and the family will throw her away. Her universe crumbles and she feels humiliated and tormented with the new turn of events. As ancient ways confront modern mores, Nisha will be torn between her values and age old customs in this brilliantly observed novel of ancestral folkways and contemporary families.
Will Nisha compromise her values… or will she fight the age-old traditions?
"And now she knew she could never find love in someone else. She knew the lines she treasured so long from the movie were wrong. There was no use searching for love in someone who was born for her. Even if he existed. Love existed in her own self. Inside her. But to comprehend it, to understand it, to awaken it, she needed the other person. Someone who would pull the right strings that made her sing, someone with whom she could share her feelings, her thoughts, her dreams. It was not just someone with whom she could grow old, someone with whom she could share the murmur of the brook."
Would it be possible for one woman to love two men who are brothers, at the same time?
In Murmur of the Lonely Brooks, the author introduces the culture and practices of the people in the Himalayas. They lead a very simple life and give utmost importance to family. They don’t even need much to be happy.
While the story’s pace was slow and dragging for most of the time, I realized that this was essential to show not only the culture that was presented in the story, but also the development of the different characters. It was essential to show just how different Pravin was from his brother Diwakar, and how different Nisha was at the beginning of the story until the end.
I kept asking myself multiple times as to where the author of this story was getting at because I reached half of the story without encountering any climax or rising action of some sort.
While I really appreciate that the author took time to explain and showcase the way of life in the Himalayas, I was more interested to read more of the actual story; of Nisha, Pravin, Diwakar, Ria, and the rest of the family.
I admit that I got irritated a bit, but I kept reading and pressed on.
This novel introduces two women: the idealistic Nisha at the beginning, who lives and devotes herself wholeheartedly only to her first love Pravin, and the Nisha at the end of the story, the one who grows into someone more mature and realistic about love and relationships.
Ultimately, the ending finally changed the pace of the story and gave me what I was looking for. It wasn’t the best ending, but it definitely satisfied me.