Amitav Ghosh writes in a style that will make you feel like it’s a story about the events in the life of the girl next door. The Hungry Tide could be about anyone’s life, anyone who has anything to do with Sundarbans, the enchanting tide country. Having well researched the topic, Ghosh writes with extraordinary ease about the area, its history, its geography, the people that live there, their experiences ranging from day to day matters to that of the heart. That one sentence does no justice to how thorough I think his knowledge of the topic is. I think it’s possible to romanticize a field of study only when you know it through and through. So, here’s a book that does that and does it incredibly well. It weaves together a tale from some distinct topics like the study of marine mammals, history of India, the constant battle of man trying to survive and be the fittest, human emotions of love and protection and the power of money and faith. Even with so many aspects spun together, Amitav Ghosh had me reading page after page, since he does it in a very clear succinct manner. He builds individual parts of the plot and later fits everything together and they seem just in place.
The one aspect I like about this book, and the main reason why I consider this to be a good read, is because it ends on a hopeful note. As I was nearing the end of the book, I was worried that this would be yet another Indian author pathos with too much suffering, too much pain and an even sadder ending. I was worried that this would end up being another potentially good book that I would end up disliking. But, Mr. Ghosh surprised me pleasantly with an ending that makes me think all is not lost. There’s hope. Downs are a part of life, just as ups are and the idea is to be determined and look forward to good times. Just as I am look forwarding to reading more of his books.