Book- False Ceilings
Author- Amit Sharma
Genre- Fiction (Saga)
Publisher- Lifi Publications
A girl from Dalhousie is stuck in the suffocating environment of Delhi. The series starts from her and moves on to her great-grandson. There is a secret which passes down from the top of the family tree to the very end.
The people are fighting from their inner self more than the people which are near them. It is like a web which never ends.
How people will tackle the secret at various levels? Will things remain grounded or there will be a time when things would seem sorted? What effect the different generations will have on each other?
The title is well suited because it is an important part of the tale. But there could have been various other options which could complement the story in more literal terms.
Various images which cover have like the radio, the almirah and the mountains, are the synonyms of the story, partially. The colour scheme of the cover is kept in the vintage style. The brownish shade is working perfectly to fit in.
The best part of the book is its characters. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. All of them had something going on in their lives which they didn’t spoke about and that is the reason (apart from they being from one family) that kept them together till the very last.
Major characters like Shakuntala and Meena always had a lead in things. They were very moving and both of them had the same background still they couldn’t mix well. That was the biggest irony of their lives and it was portrayed wonderfully.
To pick the best characters then Shakuntala, Meena and Aaryan would be my pick. These characters had the widest scope in the story. The minor characters were also very radiant for example, Kanshi Ram, Kulbhushan, Shakuntala’s mother and her grandmother. They were mind blowing.
Narration of the story was smooth. The editing was super fine and thus there were no breaks anywhere. The one liners used by the author in the narrative part helped to enhance the story very well.
The story is hidden beneath a veil which isn’t removed till the very last. False ceilings by Amit Sharma is a story hidden in various shells. Every layer embarks something new and after the initial pages I was voracious to inspect the hidden aspects. The story starts on a very weird note of an If-else statement. I was very amused to see it because I never hoped to see this name in a fiction novel. I quickly realized how and why the writer has added this factor in the book with so much emphasis.
The novel has so many important nation-wide movements which come in front, page after page. The Independence of the country, the 1984 massacre, etc. The story touches such a vast number of years that it becomes so complicated to notice the same in a jiffy. It needs sheer patience and understanding. In my case I made a family tree to make myself sorted all the time. Such was the level of the book, kudos author.
Shakuntala is the major protagonist of the story whose life leads to the complete tale. I was really moved to read all that was happening in her life. From the roads of Dalhousie to a house in Khanna and then to Delhi, her journey was really moving. The vivid imageries which author created with his knowledge about the cities were really worth noting. The serenity of hills was fully shown. Also the meek voices trampled under the noises in the city didn’t remain unnoticed.
The chapters were not incidents but they were people. It created a very strong impact and it might have taken a lot of hard work to remember all the small details from every individual’s life by the author. From time to time things cross your vision one after the other and the author has preserved every person in the reader’s memory through these cautionary visits.
Manohar, Vinod and Aaryan were the analogy of each other. They were subjected to something which always took them under their spell. The three generations were complimenting each other well and thus they leave a very nice hint in my mind. I don’t know how I will remember them, as a protagonist, as an antagonist or as a meagre connecting link between the ladies who ruled the whole book and the essence createdby them. But I will surely remember them.
The best chapters in the whole book were “Shakuntala”, “Meena” and “Lipi”. The three vastly gaped generations who always had their individuality dealt by others in one way or the other.
I found Meena to be standing somewhere in the middle, always oscillating either between her thoughts and her present life or her individuality and the course she has chosen. I started to adore Meena a lot but then chapters moved and I reached the place where I was told by the author how and when the characters reached the place they were in presently and I was again shifted back to caressing Shakuntala. Her bond with her dad, her connection with Dalhousie, her ill-treatment to her husband, to her children and to Meena all starts making sense.
The story moves but the agonies of the people remain deep rooted in the reader because they were strong and they instigate the sense of remorse and grief.
The decline of Manohar’s structure depicted the loss of hope and says a lot in few words.
The dying aspirations of a lady are well spoken without even mentioning about them much.
The quick attractions and infatuations come across from time to time. The fading love and people moving inwards is shown beautifully.
Lipi’s part of the story is the most vast and influential because it is the one which sum up everything and I was relaxed after reading that. All the questions were well answered till then. But the problem arrives when the secret was to be revealed. I felt that it was highlighted a lot but wasn’t handled in the same way. I felt betrayed because I was waiting for a massive heart ache but the blandness was too much to handle.
So, False Ceiling was a great book showing human relations and inhibitions. The drifting relations and the long family connected with some old memories.
· “She wondered how many times she will have to let go of this feeling of stability.”
· “...nonchalantly the soul passed to the other side, quietly closing the door behind.”
· “We just waited for things to fall back in place instead of moving them ourselves.”
· “It was like history repeating itself and no lessons learnt.”
· “We replaced everything with the other things flashier, except for our rusting thought process.”
As the story advances new characters comes in front but they are somehow related to the old characters only. Thus the author don’t allow any character to be the talk of past.
The hard times in emergencies and violent movements are shown with ease and vigour by the author as if he has inspected them in front of his eyes. His sense of depicting them is great and that has added some extra beauty in the book.
What happened to the if-else statement? Didn’t it have anything in particular?
Also the way the climax was handled was degrading the level of the story.
Need a complex story book in your shelf? False ceiling can be your choice for sure.
About the author-
Having studied M.Tech in Computer Science from Kurukshtera University, Amit Sharma is currently working as a software engineer in Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for last ten years.
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