Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Valley of Masks by Tarun J. Tejpal

Title: The Valley Of Masks
Author: Tarun J Tejpal
Number of Pages: 488
Cover Price: 499
Rating: 5/5

Get this from Flipkart.com (Rs. 374)

Tarun J Tejpal born in 1963 is journalist and a novelist  He has been editor with India Today. After 2000, he started Tehelka news organization which now has a very good global reputation.

About this Book:

First of all this is not at all an easy read. It took lots of seating for me to complete the book. Almost after every page, I had to pause for a bit to further understand depth of each line written.

There are some books that we would enjoy reading and some books are meant to convey some message. 'The Valley of Masks' is none of these categories.

Even though as compared to other books, I have read before, pace for this was almost half. But I always wanted that this book should never end.

The Valley of Masks is about indifference. The book is about an organization that teaches violent perfection to young children. 'Aum' is leader of this path - where equality is placed before everything else – so much so that they have the same face – a mask that is fitted to their face once they turn sixteen and hence the name 'Valley Of Masks'.

It is a dark book - the more one reads, the more one is scared. One may would have read hundreds of books but I am dead sure, no one would have read anything like this.

These are some initial lines from the book, itself telling the complexity of the story:
It is not a long story. Some men would tell it in the time it takes to drink a glass of bitter sweet Ferment. And then there are those who would tell it in such detail that barrels would be drained dry and they would not arrive at its end. I am in between – too confused to be too short or too long. I was not always so. Once I was a man of opinion and will and purpose. Men turned to me for fixity when their hearts and minds wavered. Once.
In the world out there, men are neither free nor equal nor moral. They are driven by shallow impulses which made them dangerously selfish and dishonest. The seed of this inferno is the need to possess. The seed of this inferno is the word 'my'.
Looks are the greatest curse of life. A decoy and distraction. They are the crucial test set by divinity that all men fail. In the garden of looks bloom envy, ego, anxiety, vanity, covetousness, bitterness, lust and despair. In the garden of looks bloom the seed that first destroy the brotherhood. 
Even though its a hard read, everyone should read this book to know exactly that the extant of literature is far more beyond IIT Campus love stories and other such stuffs...

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