Review of 'Autumn Leaves - Seasons of Life' by GS. Subbu






About the Book:

Title: Autumn Leaves: Seasons of LIfe
Author: G. S. Subbu
Publisher: Notion Press
Language: English
No. of pages: 266
Year of Publication: 2018
ISBN:  9781643244266
ASIN: B07DQK3739

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The common thread that connects all the stories in the book is the Fall or the Autumn. Autumn symbolizes a time of self-reflection. It is also the transition from light to darkness like twilight when day slowly melts away into the darkness but not before revealing the resplendency of the setting sun. It is also a period of accepting the reality of the present and moving towards and preparing oneself for the future: a period of contemplation and accepting impermanence. Like the seasons, we also change within ourselves whether it is coping with impermanence, overcoming the ghosts of the past, or learning to make our lives more meaningful.

‘Autumn Leaves’ narrates the reality of being left alone as one ages due to the splintering of families and the slow drifting away of relationships. The story traces one family’s travel through four generations.

‘Amora’ is all about the failure to distinguish between love and infatuation before realizing that relationships are based on understanding and acceptance and that alone is permanent.

‘Enigma’, brings together two individuals who are diametrically opposite in nature but stay bonded till the end. The story is about friendship, love and that the meaning of our existence lies in how useful a life we have led.


About the Author:


http://www.ushanarayanan.com/https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14115933.Paulami_Dutta_Gupta
https://twitter.com/shillonggal
GS. Subbu, in his third book 'Autumn Leaves' explores the reality of human existence whether it is aging and loneliness, infatuation and love, or finding an authenticity in one's life through a synthesis of the opposing forces within oneself. He relies in simple language to get across his deeply philosophical meditations to the reader. He goes back and forth from the present to the past and back to the present, avoiding the monotony of a straight narrative to keep the reader engrossed.

An engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, by qualification and a banker by profession, he retired from the State Bank of India in the year 2010 and settled down in Chennai. His two previous books are 'I am just An Ordinary Man' and 'Darkness and Beyond - A Medley of Many Lives'. He regularly writes in his blog 'Sublimation'.

His first book: I am Just an Ordinary Man has been reviewed in Writer's Ezine - my online magazine in February 2015 Issue and the author has been interviewed in the same issue.
'Darkness and Beyond – A Medley of Many Lives' has been reviewed here.

His first book: I am Just an Ordinary Man has been reviewed in Writer's Ezine - my online magazine in February 2015 Issue and the author has been interviewed in the same issue.


My Views:
Autumn Leaves - Seasons of Life is a compilation of three short stories written by the author, the first one being the longest of the three. The characters in all the three stories are very much life-like, someone you might have come across in your own life.
I usually skip Introduction and Preface, but I read in this book - it provides insight into the author's mind. Don't miss reading it.

About Autumn Leaves:

The first of the three stories - Autumn Leaves spans four generations and is divided, rightly so, in four parts
1. Autumn Leaves
2. Winter Chill
3. A New Beginning
4. Summer Heat

It is a simple story without any twists but has a lot to learn from and contemplate on. It is a story of ordinary people like you and me. What happens to the characters, what they go through, their quest to find themselves, it could happen to any of us.
The language is simple and so is the plot. The story flow oscillates between past and present; author has provided explanation for the same in introduction.
Even though the author uses '***' to separate scenes, I feel that the jump from past to present, change of character perceptive becomes confusing at times.
There's one character's perspective that seems forcefully introduced - only a small part in a small chapter. It should have been excluded or elaborated on.

From the book:


Autumn symbolizes a time of self-reflection. It is also the transition from light to darkness like twilight when day slowly melts away into the darkness but not before revealing the resplendency of the setting sun. It is also a period of contemplation and accepting impermanence.


About Amora:
It's a simple story of Love that deals with the protagonists struggle of letting go of the past. Once again, the story moves back and forth from present to past and back to the present.
I understand that it is author's style of writing to concentrate more on the philosophy of relationships but I would have loved to read more about the emotions of the parties involved in the relationship.



About Enigma:
It is a story of two friends who stay bonded despite their different approach towards life. The theme of 'present to past to present' continues in this story as well. The time jump is less confusing in this story.
Atulya, one of the protagonists in this story goes on a journey in search of meaning of life just like one of the protagonists in the first story of the book.

Overall,
If you are looking for a light read, this is not the book for you. This book is for deep understanding and contemplation. The stories, in themselves, are simple but they carry a deep meaning and fodder for thought. Author's experience that comes with age and self-reflection shines through in this book.
For some it might seem to be too philosophical but it is good to read such a book once in a while.