Book review of Scarlet Lines by P K Jha
You know many times, a novella especially flash fiction fails to attract readers substantially. Reason? Well, not hitting or powerful enough. Certainly not the case with Scarlet Lines by P K Jha where the narrative is simply an indicator of a much deep-rooted unanswered question – Do we really attribute God in a manner he exists or in the manner we want him to exist? Best part? Well, TBH the novella actually deals with the sensitive topic of drug abuse, presenting the entire perspective through the eyes of a drug addict. So, in case you are wondering if this one is about spirituality, nope it isn’t. A simple yet powerful insight into the colourful kaleidoscope dwelling in an addict’s mind.
Do we ever realize that the highest possible pleasure attainable is not the one we seek but Nirvana aka the giving up of the same? When we understand this simple aspect, that is the point when we truly reach our highest notion of the higher power-God.
Indeed, I have always felt that life is a complex jigsaw which only gets solved once we start realizing and understanding its deeper facets. To be able to get to the bottom of it, delving into the finer emotions and understanding the more delicate aspects is something I feel comes with age, time and experience. And yet, the concept of God, as universal as it may seem still seems varied, different and unique for each person.
Wondering what has gotten into me today to discuss this. Well, Scarlet Lines by P K Jha, a novella which literally for me was a tiny bundle translating and transcending into a sensational revelation has pushed me to think and mull over these deep musings in life. The story of a drug addict told from his point of view, this one gave me a kick in the shin literally! Yes, I was absolutely gobsmacked by the way how this simple enough narrative which started with how the addict derives pleasure and kick from the entire act of abuse and how later on becomes so consumed with gaining that momentary lull of pleasure that he stops thinking beyond now and the subsequent travesty of the entire situation. that kept me on tenterhooks in the end.
Trigger Warnings: Drug Abuse, Suicide, Self-harm, Substance abuse
Naming the characters A, B and so on, the author has simply focused straightaway on the core plot of the story and dived headlong into the concepts of drug abuse. Whilst the main protagonist is an addict, I could not help but notice how he is extremely and intricately empathetic of what is life and what exactly the trysts are, the trials and tribulations associated with it. I simply loved the introspections of B as well as all the other viewpoints on God, his existence and being. The mania, the complete “high” surrounding the characters, how they each were embroiled in their own individual thought processes and yet seemed to be onto somewhat the same path is what was overwhelming to read in this one. So, while the protagonist derives pleasure from self-inflicted harm and drug abuse, I was also pretty consumed by how the narrative decided to proceed, being able to get inside the viewpoint of his mind, experiencing those psychedelics first-hand, tasting the pain, feeling that wound he felt.
Yes, there was a sort of personal touch to the narrative definitely as I know for a fact that the Author has confided that some of the instances are real-time, part of his real life. It struck me hard that he decided to share details of that sensitive nature with us readers and that too, ensuring that we see beyond the portrayal, being able to immerse ourselves in his complete experience on a near personal level. In fact, to tell you guys the truth, I was stoked and had not expected the climax and the ending to transpire in that manner, I could literally feel the goosebumps, the rush of adrenaline course through my veins on the closure. And yet, it was the perfect ending the book needed and also the readers.No spoilers beyond that though, you guys.
You know there are certain books that really give you the “feel”, the creepy kinds where all you want to do is peek-a-boo into the descriptive and yet are afraid to do so, fearing it might not be a great idea to do so. Yes, I too felt that bit of sensationalism as I call it in this one, something I was a little too intimidated by, something I just couldn’t get my eyes off and yet was scared of looking in the eye.
Yes, the kaleidoscope of the heightened senses was an experience I could feel through the psychedelics discussed. It was again something unique for me, seeing the world, experiencing it through their sensories, something I would say actually enlightened me in the process. Reason? Well, sometimes downfall, the lows of life, the misery tend to be a catalyst, catapulting you towards the highs automatically, making you realize how blessed you actually are, in spite of what you might say or believe otherwise. Indeed, in life, the dictum that counts your blessings is one of supreme importance and the author through this story has made us realize how we are not a product of fate rather it is our choices in life that make or break us. To rise up to a situation or to perish is not destiny but more dependent on how you choose to react in that particular scenario, whether you are able to convert the difficulty into an opportunity. It is unto us to choose the right path. Whilst many a time, some are deterred what eventually transpires is similar to the scenario Jha depicts through this one.
BTW he has even mentioned at the start of the novella that the book showcases a few events he has actually lived through and dedicated the narrative to all those whose illnesses cannot be seen and all those who struggle with addiction. A trigger warning here for substance abuse, self-harm and suicide too albeit I strongly feel that once you are knee-deep in this one, you shall resonate with the perspectives presented in a manner which will make you wondrous at your own belief too. A serious, stark reminder also of how drug abuse is slowly but surely dangerously spreading like wildfire and harming society.
Scarlet Lines by P K Jha is a brilliant piece of writing, prepare to be stunned and yet to get caught up in a whirlwind of your deep-rooted emotions at the same time.
So, hope you guys liked my thoughts on this one. Stay tuned with us right here at Booxoul for the best in the field of entertainment, lifestyle, education, fun, finance, fashion, tech and gadgets as well as all things bookish.