Book Review: ‘Andamanush Nicobarese’ by Partha Sarthi Sen Sharma

A unique travelogue was written with poise and elegance.

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Book Title: Andamanush Nicobarese
Author: Partha Sarthi Sen Sharma
Publisher: Rupa Publications

Book Review
Reading books written by individuals with extensive experience in their profession, life, and the topic of the book they write is a surreal experience. It allows readers to dig deep into the author’s thoughts and comprehend their psyche. Not all autobiographies or bios have this effect, but books focused on travel, cuisine, or unexpected events will undoubtedly have an impact.

Similarly, the novel “Andamanush Nicobarese”, written by IAS officer Partha Sarathi Sen Sharma and released by Rupa Publications, is based on the author’s time spent as an observer in the distant islands for the 2019 Parliamentary elections. “Andamanush Nicobarese” is a journey book that is both a travelogue and a work of fiction. It recounts the tale of a protagonist who goes on a journey.

Andamanush Nicobarese by Partha Sarthi Sen Sharma Book Cover
Andamanush Nicobarese by Partha Sarthi Sen Sharma Book Cover

The book masterfully recounts the author’s experience in a completely new structure, unlike traditional travelogues, which are descriptive and subjective. Partha Sarthi Sen Sharma attempted to tell the islands’ history, physical topography, culture, society, and cuisine from the locals’ viewpoint rather than his own.

The book is based on the author’s encounters and conversations with residents from various socioeconomic groups, including government employees, refugees, local-borns, and tribals. He has selected the term Travenovel to characterize his new work, a novel idea in travelogues.

Partha Sarthi has a remarkable grasp of the island’s political, social, and cultural past. He takes an entirely objective view of the island’s development and tells the tale with objectivity but profound empathy and breadth of knowledge. As a result, he connects the islands’ narrative to tenuous strands from Lucknow, Bihar, Punjab, Denmark, Bangladesh, and Scotland.

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The ancestry and historical ties of the landmarks and inhabitants transport the reader to distant countries and regions. Reading the book, one can sense the author’s relationship with the landscapes, sea noises and silences, and hues of the days, sunsets, and nights.

This is Partha Sarthi’s fifth novel, two of which were also travelogues. One must commend the author for imbuing this book with a distinct taste. The book is undoubtedly one of the most valuable additions to the helpful collection of writing on the islands. Language, style, and other literary structures are handled honestly, clearly, and well.

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Storizen Magazine March 2023 Cover – Anuja Chandramouli

Read more book reviews in our March 2023 Issue featuring Anuja Chandramouli