This book is a very interesting read for all! It is a story about a youth, who gets into a gang of goons and leads a life of blood-shed with them. The story is based on all the rural areas of Bengal and has a beautiful description all of the places written in this book. The protagonist and the others are shown in both ways – Good and Evil.
The protagonist, a youth named Shanto, is all of fourteen and is made to work in a gang of goons. He was from a little village called Chhotopelia in Lalgarh. He at first doesn’t realize how terrifying it is to be killed without a reason, but soon he understands it and begins to think of how to lead a better life without being caught as a murderer! The gang he mixes with is actually a group of ill-literate people who protests on the tortures of the Police. As the Police carries on their torture over these people, the group takes the path of killing people who went against them and made sure there were proper meals ( which were sometimes stolen or the money they stole was put into the fund of buying food) ,and made all these sins of theirs, their actual pleasures of life. Shanto was made a member of this group as his parents were a part of this gang. Shanto, too was belonging to a poor family, and could not manage to get proper meals. He was regularly beaten up by his uncle and scolded by his aunt for eating too much (though it wasn’t his fault as he was a growing child) ! And thus, he joins the gang and makes his life into something he did not realize could be – Sinful and without Peace!
The gang was of four women, sixteen men and the little Shanto. The gang always travels from one place to another. Sometimes Bankura forests to Paschim Medinipur! Shanto is only trusted by his “Dada” Jhuntu. Though, after Shanto runs away from the gang, no one likes nor trusts him at all! As a person, Shanto is shown as a very innocent but clever young boy. He learns how bad it is to kill people..and soon runs away to become an employee at a tea-shop. The story then takes a turn when Shanto goes against his dangerous ex-gang-mates ! With a lot of tortures by Police,and some love and support from a station master ( who takes Shanto to his house and begins to look after him at the end of the story ), Shanto gets a chance to go to school and leads a better and more childish kind of a life. In the end of the story, Shanto suddenly disappears and what happens to him..reminds a suspense!
A amazing book! It is a great read for all the young adults! I really do look forward for Miss Sengupta’s next book…It was a delight to read indeed!