Author : Saikat Baksi
Publisher : Srishti Publishers & Distributors
Millennia ago, the valley of Mohenja-Daro held one of the most organized and advanced civilizations for its time. Discovered in the late nineteenth century, all that was left of it now were ruins, and dead bodies. The mound of the dead, they called it, and rightly so. There were many dead bodies lying everywhere, and there stories were as mysterious as their states. What happened to the city of Mohenja-Daro?
In a time when the city thrived, Koli was a seductive girl with an enigmatic charm. Sindhu lived with dreams burning in her eyes, and Girad with his burning passion for life. There were others, like the priest who professed to seeing a doomed future, a future cursed for all time. Their love, dreams, greed, mania and delusions formed a part of their lives, and added colour to it all the way. A mysterious series of deaths follows a frantic hunt for lust, gold and glory, and they do not stop until they destroy the very foundation of the city. Or until they venture Far Beyond the Dead End, to be discovered in the remnants of the lost city thousands of years later.
The author starts briskly and as a reader, you are interested in a superficial way - it is set in an era not many of us can claim to be familiar with and there lies its shortcoming - author never fully allows its reader to get used to the smells, sounds and surroundings of this city. Divided into three parts and only 230 odd pages long, it is wrapped up a little too neatly and too quickly for one's own convenience. A lot of people (read feminists) may be offended by the objectification and crudeness towards the female protagonist but more so because it seems forced and almost, derogatory at times.
I am going with 2.5 / 5 for Saikat Baksi's 'Far Beyond the Dead End'. It is set up in an unique world and promised much more at the start, but do not fully deliver on its promise. In the end, it is yet another triangular love story - just set up in a different era.