Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Book Review : Ri :The Homeland of Uncertainty

Ri -Homeland of Uncertainty is a movie in Khasi which has been adapted in the form of a book by Paulami Duttagupta.

This is the story of what Meghalaya went through from 2000 to 2004.Shillong ,the present capital of Meghalaya has got a cosmopolitan nature with its music festivals,fashion streets ,delicious cuisine etc.All that was changing thanks to terror.This is a fictional account of the pain & horror of the phase that lasted for some time.

This is the story of Kyndiah,the police chief who is trying hard of rid the Shillong public of the fear of terror.He has to answer journalists like Janet who feel that police is trampling on human rights in the name of fighting terror.It is also the tale of many who are drawn into the cesspool of terror who take up guns & kill .Maybe not kill & yet assist in killing thereby  spreading the atmosphere of fear.Why does  Manbha feel any regret when he hears that a trader has been killed ? And yet,he feels that his land should be freed from outsiders.Manbha feels that he is a freedom fighter & not a terrorist.Is he right when he says he has not killed anyone himself.Even aiding a terrorist is the same or maybe it is not.Manbha finds that all this is getting too heavy on his conscience.Yet,will he surrender ? Will the police accept his surrender & forget what he did earlier ? Maybe the police will kill him in encounter & claim to have busted a terror racket.Manbha is lost.He feels guilty & yet he cannot come back to his family .This the story of so many like Manbha who take up arms after being brainwashed by separatist groups.Is Kyndiah a police officer who fakes encounters ? Why does he throw himself in the line of fire before his men ? Who is Emika & how does she speak so authoritatively ?Who wins ? Terror or peace ? And how ?

The author has depicted the dilemma of the innocents who have taken up arms & joined terrorism.This dilemma makes the reading very engrossing.There is never a  dull moment in the book.The helplessness of innocents who  join ,& cannot turn back.;They are lonely.They have no life.And they have to dance as per the instructions of the commanders.The author has managed to sneak in some wry humour in the angst ridden tale.And special kudos for drawing attention to the terror scene in the North east of our country !

Ri - Homeland of Uncertainity
Paulami Duttagupta 

The Blurb
Ri- Homeland of Uncertainty is adapted from the National Award Winning Khasi film by the same name.

Trapped in the limbo between ideology and conscience, Manbha finds him himself part of a terror outfit. An unexpected opportunity, anger, squalor and disillusionment - followed by and armed combat and injury lead to the soul- searching that form the substance of this moving tale.
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Meet the Author

Born in Shillong, many moons ago, with schooling at Loreto Convent, and an English Honors from St. Edmunds College, Paulami Duttagupta started her career with All India Radio Shillong. She had written and also given her voice to a few shows there. Later she came down to Kolkata and got a post graduate degree in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University. She had also taken up a fancy to learning Spanish, but today confesses that she has forgotten most of it.
She has written for ‘The Times of India’ in the ‘Guwahati-Shillong plus Edition’ and also ‘The Shillong Times’. Television had always attracted her and was connected to the Bangla TV industry for about 6 years. She was associated with ETV- Bangla, Akash Bangla and Sony Aath in this period.
Having left her day job in 2012, Paulami took up full time writing. Her first novel, “Pinjar” released in early 2012.
Her second novel “Unplanned Destinty” released in 2014. She is also the screenplay writer of the national award winning Khasi film – “Ri Homeland of Uncertainty”.

“Ri” has been adapted into a novel and was released on September 14,2014

She is currently working on her next project as movie script writer.

Apart from writing full length novels, she has written several short stories and articles. She has also contributed to the “Minds@work Anthology” and the “Family Matters International Anthology” in 2013.

Recently she has contributed to the “Learning and Creativity Anthology” , “Her Story Anthology”, and “Celebrating India – Love across Borders Anthology”.

When she is not writing or watching movies, Paulami is either reading biographies or classic pieces of literature. Cricket, food, cinema, books and music are an integral part of her life. 

You can stalk Paulami Duttagupta  @



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Some extra Info on the book 
This book is an adaptation from a movie. Why? The author will answer that in one of our blogs which we will post soon. Stay tuned !!!

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