|Scarlet Crescent- written by Rajeshwari Chauhan|
“For those who dare to leap over Time- The Mighty Clock has prickly hurdles laid on their wake.” The same can be said in case of Scarlet Crescent- written by Rajeshwari Chauhan. Nobility will always be able to sketch the absolute picture of what happens behind the gigantic walls of a kingdom or an empire. And Chauhan scores her first mark right there. With sense of splendor and an eye of acute imagination she is able to retell story of the love from the past. The vibes and the tug of passion are well addressed through the choice of words most appealing to the ear…
But Scarlet Crescent is not exactly what you are thinking. It is a story written like a movie script. The writer has experimented with the format further more and has wrote the whole of it engaging three languages- Urdu, Hindi and English. It never runs in paragraphs- instead actions, and scenes separate each event and occurrence from one another. Dotted with images of Mughal arts, related artifacts objects and most vivid flowers- the book is heavily illustrated- may be too much- to distract the readers.
Indeed Scarlet Crescent is beyond its time. For in India at least a story that reads like a play- refers constantly to different languages -will confuse a layman reader. The use of props to give the mystery element an extra boost will remain in the shadow for overdoing the twist and turns with present time and flashback. Physically the book is too heavy- a normal 223 pages book never makes your hands ache even you lay down on your armchair for a lazy reading afternoon. The cover design will draw interest of many- but once they flip through the book they will find it hard to convince themselves to regard this as their best buy. The sentences are too close to each other- the font size is too small- the margin alignment is not uniform. For a story to reach the heart of its reader- perfect combination of the above points is most mandatory.
A bookworm will give this book a try and even enjoy its nuances of ecstasy and instance word play- the rest of the hurdles he will cross- just to fulfill his appetite- but Scarlet Crescent was surely not written to appease a handful. It is quite oppressing for a writer to see her story getting butchered to such trying presentation. My suggestion would be to readdress all the above issues and give the book a fresh look. For it hurts to see a great story going unnoticed in this fashion.
Note: Umberto Eco’s – The Name of Rose seems close to the way this particular story goes- but that became a bestseller and a masterpiece for it could reach out to the readers right from the beginning.
©shreya chatterjee 2013