The first English novel by acclaimed Odia writer Susmita Bagchi, ‘Beneath a Rougher Sea’ is a fresh approach towards mental health in literature and will surely create a place for its own in your heart. We live in a country where mental health patients have to bear with stigma, there is zilch awareness about mental health problems and mainstream cinema has popularised the notion that such ailments can be cured by ‘electrotherapy’. Efforts like this book go a long way in setting the record straight.
This is the story of Aditya, a psychiatrist. A successful doctor, Aditya is doing good in life, handling patients suffering from manic depression, hyper sexuality and delusions. His life hits turbulence as his old flame Deepa returns to his life with her son Raj who needs treatment following his father’s death. After Raj recovers, Deepa moves back to London and Aditya is overcome with a sense of failure and loss. What happens when the psychiatrist himself needs help? Susmita Bagchi does a fabulous job of taking us through the journey of Aditya’s life.
The author deserves huge acclaim for the extensive research behind the various mental health problems, their symptoms, the medical process as well as the reaction of society to mental health issues. The writing is simple and narrative moves at a brisk pace, so the reader does not lose interest.
The characters are real and the emotions are raw. This is not a hunky-dory story from La La Land where everyone lives happily ever after. That makes this novel even more endearing. Overall, this is the perfect book for an idyllic weekend afternoon read.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
P.S. Thank you Leadstart Publishing for the review copy
DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights