The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh is a book which, by most of the critics in India and abroad, is considered one of those novels who could successfully classify themselves to be called an ecological novel and it’s true as well… reading his novel, in case of The Hungry Tide, gradually removes the shroud from the concerns which we often ignore but only realise when it’s too late already. The human beings deported from their homes; the animals beguiled from their native land and the bystanders musing over the loss… this is all in his book and it makes the novel even complex – far, far away from the ones which are being read and written in the present day in our country.
It starts with a common young man (not too young) reaching home after a long time only to find things changed and his aunt alone after the death of his uncle. A foreigner lady comes to study the dolphins. She stays with Kanai and his aunt and the guy tends to find some love in her but his approaches fail. On the other hand, the lady is drawn to Fokir, a common man doing the services as his father does – ferrying boats.
The Hungry Tide is quite metaphoric in nature. Who is Hungry? Human beings? The big cat? The common people for love? The ocean for sacrifice? The greedy for more wealth? The helpless for a little help and shelter?
Amitav Ghosh has left all the dimensions open but his liberal attitude in the public life does come out to peep from the whole of his fiction, on rare occasions when he could not stop it from happening.
Fokir and Piyali’s love story work as a respite for the readers who cannot stop themselves from getting overtaken by the diary of Kanai’s uncle. Piyali’s understanding of Fokir and his reciprocation in a native way, in spite of the language barrier, proves that love knows no boundaries as well as no limits…
To cut it short, you can have this book and read it once…
The Hungry Tide
A perfect one time read for any kind of reader!