In Loving Memory by Haimanti Datta Ray is a heart felt book written by a daughter in remembrance of her doting father Shaymal Datta Ray. It is a true tribute which a child could give to his/her parent and also a treasure to pass on to the next generation otherwise how the next generation would know about their grandparents whom they have never seen.
There is already a trend to write letters to children by parents but this is the first of its kind I have read where a daughter is writing about her parent. It is a trend which is bound to catch up in the near future.
In fact, while reading the book I was misty-eyed remembering my mother who passed away suddenly three years ago and I felt there was so much I need to tell her but she is not there to hear it. The weight of which is weighing down on my soul. But not any more.
After reading “In Loving Memory” I now know how to unleash from that burden. How to vent out the lump in my throat. It is also a great way to preserve the reminisces of one’s parents and loved ones and to make them immortal forever.
Coming back to book, the author is well versed in literature and art as a result she is well aware about the renowned personalities in these fields and their world famous work which find reference in the book everywhere. Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray, English Romantic poet John Keats, British painter J.M.W.Turner, T.S.Eliot and Irish writer James Joyce were remembered. This further adds value to the book.
Her loving father Shaymal Datta Ray in whose memory this biography has been written is also a famous artist and painter from Bengal. His painting especially in water medium has been recognized all over the world. And he has been honored with many laurels and prizes during his lifetime. But this book will make him recognized among the people like me who has no connection with art.
After reading the book now I am aware about the various mediums used for painting. That like books, even painting are also done in series. One need keen eyes to observe the painting in order to know the inner feeling of an artist and the message conveyed through it.
Haimanti has very well portrayed his father as an artist but there is not much to read about him as a person. Only at one place she mentioned that her father easily mingled with everyone and people can’t help but to get infectious with his persona.
Also the author has traveled extensively with her parents but the places visited merely finds mention in the book. Haimanti didn’t go into details nor has shared any anecdotes related to it.
The last chapter of the biography, The Life Goes On is an interesting read. She has shared the thoughts of many famous artist and poets on death. Their take on this truest and unequivocal fact of this world. Death which ultimately snatched away our loved ones from us but life doesn’t stop. The book ends with this true spirit of life.
The Verdict: It’s a thin book. After knowing Shaymal Datta Ray as an artist and how surroundings and circumstances leaves deep impact on an artist’s work, I only wish to know more about him.
After reading the book one can’t remain untouched by the love with which this biography has been written.