An alternative and embracing perspective of death and ends
Yamraj Number 5003 is an engaging novel with a fresh idea. The writer portrays an alternative and embracing perspective of death and ends, Yamaraj Number 5003 servies as the centre source of the idea. Author penned down the death complaining for being projected as dark and brutal. He gave the death a voice as Yamaraj 5003, who spoke on its behalf seeking answers to his ironical existence and portrayal.
The narrator fascinatingly depicts how those who raise their voice for rectitude andequity questioning the unjust and biased norms are ripped to shreds by those claiming power and authority.
The novel draws two powerful and parallel opinions through intertwining narratives. The first involves how gender disparities are still discreetly flourishing in the nation, how men and women
are subjected to different expectations guided by their gender. In second one, the author claims power to be vested into the hands of the people at prestigious positions and those entities setting foundations of all the unjust happening; our origins are tainted.
Yamaraj Number 5003
Original Odia Novel by
English Translation: Thirumoy Banerjee
published by :Rupa
The main idea amid which the plot is interwoven lies in the storyline, unlike other Yamas, Yamaraj 5003 possessed certain attributes that directed him into doing something surpassing his authorities. From there the story picks up momentum as Yamaraj 5003 embarks on a series of acts that questions the authority of the trinity, or so they are given to understand.
As the plot thickens the author remainsan adept, wonder-filled and thoughtful tour guide of the three loks; trilok, accompanying his readers from heaven to twenty one hells and back to the Earth, meanwhile putting up continuous questions for the way the things have been. It puts on display how the leaders, the creators reprimands for the pride and honor which ladies rightfully own. Discrimination that set its foot in the culture of Indian society has been explicitly brought into light with historical excerpts brilliantly backed up with instances and their delivery just kills the timing.
The manner in which the nine chapters encompasses both a realistic struggle of family, teenage dreams, undying love and legendary world of mythological figures and their interior illustrations is world-class and occasionally jarring but the invocation of real-life events and fragments of clerical procedures and administrative functioning of heaven helps create a narrative equilibrium while exhibiting the newness in the way the author’s message has been delivered.
Written in a unique ‘story within a story’ and ‘story leading to a story’ format- that reminds one of Panchatantra or Arabian Nights. The entire narrative is seeped with humour of various kinds- from a hearty laughter to black humour bordering on the morbid. Yamraj Number 5003 provides a fresh perspective to the age old questions of power, authority and subjugation. It is a must read for its unique presentation laced with humour.
The translation is first rate. The novel reads easy and fluid.
By Dr. Deepak Upadhaya