Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Reverse Tree - Book Review


The foreword to The Reverse Tree says, “So what is The Reverse Tree really about? Did I ever figure it out? I'm afraid I'm going to have to leave that up to you, the reader.”

Unfortunately, even the reader will not be able to figure out what it is all about. Whether a tiny booklet running into only 36 pages, can be called a book only because it is hard bound? The epilogue (another 11 pages) constitutes about the author, review of this book and critical acclaim for the author. 

The tag-line “trespassers won't be prosecuted .. this is all about you and me!” is totally misguiding. The Reverse Tree is only about him and that him is the author. Reverse tree is neither a collection of poems nor of short stories. It is neither a collection of write ups on contemporary issues nor is it poignant description of the author's experiences.

If you just analyze for the next few minutes what are you thinking about, you will be surprised that you think about many things at a time. You think of your childhood, you remember your deceased parent, your estranged partner, your bank account, your barber, so on and so forth. The list is endless. These thoughts are the result of your past experiences and may not be related to each other in any way. Now if you write all your thoughts which you had you will have some thing like the Reverse Tree. It may cathartic for you, but it will make little sense to the readers.

So even if one of the reviews published in the book itself says that “From his discussion of the third sex- comprised of transsexuals, bisexuals and transgender individuals – to an academic yet spiritual look into a selection of his favourite verses from The Geeta, the author once again offers an interesting view of his life and his Indian culture.”, there is little written about these topics which would strike the chord with the readers. Idiosyncrasy of author too can be at times interesting, I believe but The Reverse Tree is insipid and banal. The author has wasted the opportunity which he had got. His poems show promise. So he could have definitely utilized the opportunity which this book had presented to him.

As regards transgenders this is what the author has to say, “I often wondered why one would marry a transgender! What pleasure can a man derive from making love with another man who is feminine? How can a person marry someone who can never satisfy his needs the way a female can?” So according to the author only men are transgenders. Rather transgenders are only men or men only. Ours is country which is still coping to accept the LGBT community and making bold and incorrect statements like these will only add to the confusion in the minds of our countrymen.

The cover of the book is attractive. But don't judge a book by its cover, they say.  

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