Monday, February 4, 2008


Long time back a friend said to me, “Every human heart is an ocean, you never know what’s hidden in the deepest depth down there.”

Sankar in Chowringhee have written about some of such oceans who came across his life while he was working as a receptionist in one of the then most luxurious Hotel Shahjahan in the area of Chowringhee in Calcutta. Originally written and published in Bangla in 1962, I read its English version by Arunava Sinha.

Catching reader’s interest from very first page, ‘Chowringhee’, contains so much of human lives roaming around this very hotel as its employees or guests. Shankar a former clerk of an English barrister and then a door to door waste bin salesman and finally a receptionist at Shahjahan, found himself touched and moved by complicated webs of desires, dreams, lust, greed, grief, pleasure and affection of the various human beings affiliated to his glitzy hotel of metropolitan. The hotel manager Marco Polo, senior receptionist Satta Bose, cabaret dancer and her companion, hostess Karabi Guha, linen in charge Nityahari, Bar in charge, a private detective, Doctor Sutherland, Musician PK Gomez, film stars, celebrities, social workers, businessmen, company personals, politicians and every person in this book has his/her own story to narrate. Every heart in this novel is an ocean carrying countless hidden treasures and even unpleasant filth.

How much a human heart can take on? I think there is no limit. The state of mind I was going through when I started this novel, I think the stories of the lives of the characters in this book boosted my courage to face my problems with more strong heartedly.


Alka said...

Ye book kahan milegi? I want to read it too. Thanks to your brilliant analysis.

Juneli said...

Yes, your friend is correct that "Every human heart is an ocean, you never know what's hidden in the deepest depth down there."

But I have other way to saying......

"Human heart is an onion and a new layer comes each time you peal."

and another that I say most is:

"Human heart is a canvas and love is colour." These are my definition of heart :).


The book sounds very interesting. I will try to find and read.

Praney said...

It is a Penguin Publication Alka, I don't think it would be hard to find. Though I got the book from my small "Municipal Library" :)

Thanks for your quotes Juneli next time I will keep in mind. (But onion will keep your eyes souring, no?) :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, onion will keep eyes souring.... thus the heart too :). Isn't it?

Juneli said...

Yes, onion will keep eyes souring.... thus the heart too :). Isn't it?

Juneli said...

Ops posted twice :P