Monday, February 22, 2016

Bewitching Bitchweed

Ah! I've landed. What a ride it had been all the way to Miko Valley! Suffice to say, it was tumultuous, exhilarating, adventurous, fantastical, soul-searching... Hey, hold on! I did go searching, but that was with Alice to look for her sister Lily.
I accompanied Alice through rough, dusty and dark lanes amid mountain valleys of the Lilliputian world with pixies, dwarfs, elves, bunny rabbits, cats and gothic angles for our company, munching on apple tarts. Did I see a Geisha there, too? But how could she have got there all the way from Japan? I was hallucinating, perhaps.
I was on a high. Definitely. Often tripping through the 130-odd pages after mastering RHY [for all you uninitiated, it's an extreme form of yoga practiced by ancient Himalayan saints]. And thus I travelled in a realm that I would otherwise be too busy to willingly undertake brushing aside my daily needs.
I spent time with the Royal Prince, discovered Alice’s tea estate, met her dad and learnt about their Burmese-German lineage... O yea! We even met with an accident when Alice's car was washed down the stream somewhere atop 3,000 meters on Kunzang Mountain and was rescued by a Tibetan lady...
But, I blame Alice for that. She was drunk. Too full of herself. Pre-occupied. Swearing expletives with every swag of her ciggie. She had literally gone bonkers. Imagine eating 'avatar-altering' mushrooms that some crazy-looking dwarf offered her, only because she wanted his help in reaching Miko Valley. WTF! Will any human who claims to be mature and responsible ever do that? That's Alice for you. She even risked and exposed herself to a hypnotic body massage to accomplish her mission. And I wondered why on earth, please!
But, by the time she started playing the 'Four Doors' game, I began questioning myself. I had trusted Alice when I set out with her on her mission. She did give me sneak previews into her past with her Prince Charming but I was so engrossed in her quirkiness and taking in sights along the drive that I failed to see her real motive through. What a bitchweed!
Those of you interested in knowing if she found her sister Lily, well, all I say is take the trip with Alice. It's worth it!
Fantastically narrated novella by Dipu Darko. Engrossing and well-paced. If it's poetic and spiritual, it is also contemporary and colloquial. There are numerous gems for keeps. I love these..."When you look at art, it has to do something to you...even if it is revolting, it should stun you with its revulsion." "Beauty is light like ether and deep as ocean". "No creatures apart from humans carry baggage!" And the beautiful rhyme, too, "The knave of hearts, he stole her heart and took them all away!"
However, there are some places you may not want to agree with the author. "Man becomes lightest when dead." Really? Or is it light? Especially when the reader is given servings of karma, chakras and sleeping serpents… nevertheless, let's leave it to perception.
And what do you say when the author writes, "Similar to advices in new age books, she [protagonist] could see her life flash before her eyes." That's, indeed, a cheeky take, I would say, when in the preceding pages there are 'advices' on capturing fear..."Fear is the most potent drug in the world."  "Treat fear like a drug. Use and abuse it like adrenalin..."
Also, restricting the use of italics only for verse would have made it easier on the eye. But when the ride is as soul-stirring as this is, rest assured your eyes are focussed beyond what appears to the bare vision.
So even as you lay back watching Alice and Lily play ‘den’, be prepared to spring up when you learn that the Prince’s mom knew of her death many lifetimes ago. Wonder which world are we in exactly? Perhaps a dystopian world with hippies, pixies, you and me smoking hashish hollering around in holographic town hopping out of helipads…
Yes, that's 'Bitchweed'. Let go off yourself, completely, to read beyond what your eyes see, feel beyond what the words mean, and search beyond what your mind permits.
Best wishes to Dipu Darko!
God Bless!


  1. New style of writing book reviews! :D
    Enjoyed these glimpses of your journey with Alice!

  2. That's such a unique take on book review. Sounds like a different book. :)

  3. Sounds like an interesting read and liked the way you have reviewed it, Nisha :)

  4. Oh, I enjoyed that read - fun style Nisha - like I am right there with you, the prince and Alice:-) :-) Made me curious about the book for sure

  5. Thank you Shilpa, Eli. IT's a different book

  6. Now that's a brilliant style of writing reviews ... I absolutely loved it :D Probably I will read the book too just because of the way you reviewed it :D