Dangle by Sutapa Basu | Review

Dangle by Sutapa Basu

Dangle by Sutapa Basu
Dangle by Sutapa Basu


DANGLE by  SUTAPA BASU

 

Blurb
Stunning, svelte, smart Ipshita is a globetrotter. She treks across the world to gather bytes for the travel chats she designs and hosts for TV channels. Despite being a self assured and sophisticated entrepreneur, Ipshita is haunted by a nameless fear. Social interaction with men unleashes psychotic turmoil inside her, making her wary of male attention. Yet, the cold and aloof Ips is inexorably drawn to the three men she meets at different points in her journey.
Her arousal to the overtures of these men catches her unawares. Well-built defenses break as her dormant sexuality goes into overdrive until she discovers the horrifying truth about them…and herself.
Life puzzles. Secrets tumble out. Will she be able to reclaim her life or let it dangle?
Read an excerpt from Dangle
  The lilt of a flute fills half shadows. Emerald green silk unfurls to lavender hills. Mist gives way to a golden spectacle. Thickly embroidered into flowing waters are hundreds of lotuses. Sunlight dazzles on ruby, sapphire, turquoise, and amethyst that reluctantly open their layers to reveal honeyed hearts. The humming of multitudes of bees reverberates in the room. Intoxicated by the sun-drenched perfume of blossoms, they weave in and out of the pattern. Sheer colours daze the senses. Drumbeats intrude softly, only to rise to a crescendo.
Another shape enters the frame. Hazy at first, the outlines darken gradually. It is an empty square etched in bold strokes holding within it diagonally a metallic piece curved to the bent of an index finger. The lens zoom out.  The shape takes definition. It is  the trigger of a snub-nosed AK-47. The drums fall silent.
Everybody holds their breath. There is a thud and the face of Beauty is blotted with a gun stamped on it. There is a collective gasp. The screen stills. Strobes pick out a small crowd, including cameras on cantilever arms. Each person in the room is mesmerized…nobody can look away.

 

Giving a couple of seconds for the impact to sink in, the focus beams on Ipshita, the host. She begins the chat. Microphones pick up frequencies of her voice, enhancing its soft huskiness. Statistics and logistics start appearing on two screens flanking the bigger screen on which images are projected. She proceeds as visions of  paddy fields, streets of Imphal, slim girls in phaneks with long raven-black hair flying, fishermen casting bait, rowing boats, sitting still as rocks for fish to bite fill the screen behind her. She goes on to the fascinating scenes of Loktak, the floating islands, the fisherman’s hut and through her words she builds up a metaphor. It is of Manipur, a dainty nymph struggling to escape rape by Mars, the god of war. She is crushed, yet nothing erodes her indomitable spirit. 



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About the Author

 
 
An author, poet and publishing consultant, Sutapa Basu also dabbles in art and trains trainers and is a compulsive bookworm. During a thirty-year old professional career as teacher, editor, and publisher, she travelled the Indian subcontinent, Nepal and Bhutan. She has visited UK, USA, Dubai and Singapore while working with Oxford University Press, India and Encyclopædia Britannica, South Asia until 2013 when she decided to start writing seriously. 
 
Sutapa is an Honours scholar from Tagore’s Visva-Bharti University, Santiniketan and holds a teaching as well as a masters degree in English Literature. 
 
As a publisher, Sutapa has developed and published around 400 books. Recently, her short story was awarded the First Prize in the Times of India’s nation-wide WriteIndia Contest, under author, Amish Tripathi. 
The heroine of Dangle, by Sutapa Basu is Ipshita. She is a woman bitten by the travel bug. Needing to be her own boss, she creates a new travel and chat show in a format that is hitherto unseen or unheard of. She goes places for her work and meets different people and has expreiences that are not always rational. She is a restless woman, startled often, probably because of the fact that she is still haunted by happenings of her past. Though she does feel attracted to different men in different situations, the one thing that she actively rejects is marriage. Marriage, for her means bondage, unhappiness and what not.

Through all this, the constant companion of Ipshita is Aditya Rao, her neighbour cum best friend right from childhood. He is the sunshine in her dark stormy world, but easily comes off as totally unromantic in the beginning. However, as the story progresses, each layer of Aditya’s personality is revealed or rather, that is when Ipshita actually begins to see him.

The reluctance Ipshita displays when she goes to meet her sister and brother-in-law in Manipur suggest that there is a story hidden there. As Ipshita goes about exploring Manipur, she comes face to face with things she has been running away from. Amidst all the natural beauty she sees the struggles of the people, of how the militants and the army has changed everything for the locals and how the beauty of the land is an irony, for the people living there can not even spend a day in peace. The fear of death lurks in the minds of the people.

By the end of the story, all the mysteries are solved and the reader is left with no open threads. The narration of the story is lucid and the settings are pretty realistic. Sutapa has done a wonderful job of developing the characters of Dangle and also a special mention is required for the detailed descriptions included in the story, be it of the army way of life or of the emotions the protagonists face. To know about why Ipshita is the way she is, to know what she is running away from and to know finally what happens, read Dangle, by Sutapa Basu.

Review

The heroine of Dangle by Sutapa Basu is Ipshita. She is a woman bitten by the travel bug. Needing to be her own boss, she creates a new travel and chat show in a format that is hitherto unseen or unheard of. She goes places for her work and meets different people and has experiences that are not always rational. She is a restless woman, startled often, probably because of the fact that she is still haunted by happenings of her past. Though she does feel attracted to different men in different situations, the one thing that she actively rejects is marriage. Marriage, for her means bondage, unhappiness and what not.

Through all this, the constant companion of Ipshita is Aditya Rao, her neighbour cum best friend right from childhood. He is the sunshine in her dark stormy world, but easily comes off as totally unromantic in the beginning. However, as the story progresses, each layer of Aditya’s personality is revealed or rather, that is when Ipshita actually begins to see him.

The reluctance Ipshita displays when she goes to meet her sister and brother-in-law in Manipur suggest that there is a story hidden there. As Ipshita goes about exploring Manipur, she comes face to face with things she has been running away from. Amidst all the natural beauty she sees the struggles of the people, of how the militants and the army has changed everything for the locals and how the beauty of the land is an irony, for the people living there can not even spend a day in peace. The fear of death lurks in the minds of the people.

By the end of the story, all the mysteries are solved and the reader is left with no open threads. The narration of the story is lucid and the settings are pretty realistic. Sutapa has done a wonderful job of developing the characters of Dangle and also a special mention is required for the detailed descriptions included in the story, be it of the army way of life or of the emotions the protagonists face. To know about why Ipshita is the way she is, to know what she is running away from and to know finally what happens, read Dangle by Sutapa Basu.

The beauty of the land is an irony, for the people living there can not even spend a day in peace. #TBC… Click To Tweet

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Writing to me is therapy, it frightens and comforts at the same time. Liberates like nothing else. A book in my own name is a dream, but a bigger dream would be to write something that haunts the reader even after the last page is turned and the book is shut. I enjoy reading and music, spending time with family whilst battling my social awkwardness.

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