The Drift Wood by Pratima Srivastava is a heartwarming tale of two households who in the vicious cycle of time had their share of good and bad times. It could be the story of any household in India.
Set up Of The Novel
The novel is set in the holy city of UP, Allahabad. The author takes almost 70 pages, 76 to be precise, to reveal the name of the city about which she so fondly describes throughout the novel. I am sure if you belong to the city, will instantly identify it because the author uses many landmark places of Allahabad in the novel. I was guessing between Gaya, Banaras and Allahabad.
The story is about Joshis and Johris family, who were weathering the storm in their respective life. Joshi family was suffering from the twin blow of fate. The son Udit had run away and the daughter Shewta was bound to a wheelchair due to an accident. The Johris elderly couple was suffering from loneliness as the children are busy in their own life and care less for their parents.
The story is about Joshis and Johris family, who were weathering the storm in their respective life. Joshi family was suffering from the twin blow of fate. The son Udit had run away and the daughter Shewta was bound to a wheelchair due to an accident.
The Johris elderly couple was suffering from loneliness as the children are busy in their own life and care less for their parents.
Issues Related to Family
I think the problems raised in the novel, anyone could relate to it. ‘My parents don’t love me enough’, is the most common insecurity any child suffers from, even how much the parents try. An insecure toddler grows up to become an insecure teen who cuts themselves from their parents or in extreme cases also runs away only to repent later on.
Another common problem in every household is empty nest syndrome, which has been so sensitively portrayed by the author that it made me sit back and introspect.
Children grow up to become an adult, fly away from the nest in order to touch the sky, start their new life, but completely forgets about their roots where the pairs of old eyes are waiting for their return.
What is even worse when these children start demanding their share in the parental properties even when parents are alive. I think this is dreadful. Such children are like leech who want to suck every drop of their parent’s blood.
The repentance of Udit was heartfelt and heart rendering. I could actually feel his guilt and suffering. One can only understand the importance of parents either after losing them prematurely or after becoming one.
Elegant Writing Style
Coming to the author’s writing style then one word is suffice – fabulous. The narrative is slow but the author’s descriptive writing style really compensates it. Lucid and vivid description of the city and surroundings, of the climate and its impact on living beings, all captured with dexterity by the author clearly shows the work of keen observing eyes.
The plotting has been done meticulously on the characters day to day based activity. Really, anyone could identify with the household chores which we all go through in our real life. You will feel like transported into the Joshis and Jouhris household.
Not only the situations, but characters are also identifiable. Seems like straight picked up from the real life. They are all waging some kind battle, but life goes on.
Overall, it was a wonderful read. If you like fragmentary narrative style novels with writing style similar to that of Arundhati Roy then The Drift Wood could be your next read.
It has a lot of food for thought with beautiful description and a mystery to solve which will keep you invested in the characters and their lives long after the novel has been finished.