It is a small expression, but with an insightful depth. It means a search for something. For what and why? The greatest riddle of all is who is searching? Is it you, the eternal human crave or me? A longing to find the meaning of love, life and our existence.
This short novella by Aniruddha Bose examines the answer to this conundrum.
Revolving round the affluent and upper middle class milieu of the urbanized society, the characters of this novel are all pawns in the game of life. Tossing up and down through their profits and losses, accomplishments and failures, love and hatred, desire and denial, they all pass through this enigma of life. The truth they discover is life is nothing but a Venn Diagram an array of intersecting circles of relations, which includes its slices, but never its whole.
We believe erroneously in relationships. We have an elusive image of our existence. Only a few chosen can comprehend that our life is nothing but a part of a greater nullity.
The ultimate truth is that we live alone in our ‘home’ in solitude and die alone in it.
Is love always a conflict and what could be taken as a base of humanity?
In Quest the author has wandered in search of humanity.
In this novel the dominant characters have moved around two central characters – Animesh and Anwesha, throughout the storyline and all the characters have been skillfully crashed, interwoven and thrown into the vortex of challenging modern life, where ceremony of innocence got drowned, the best lacked all convictions. All the characters representing middle and upper class middle families, with full of passionate intensity, have engaged themselves in search of identity to make life passionately meaningful and still more challenging. Thin inner selves have intense craving for freedom for which they subject themselves to prevailing and enchanting calls of the passing days – full of ruling interest. Thus, the dominant characters always have been under the pressure of circumstances forced upon them and each character depicted upon its epoch and not upon its own nature.
Does it mean that there is otherwise known human nature?
The author covertly puts up a valid and relevant question – does a person, at all have a foundation of his own, solid and trustworthy, which could be taken as a base of humanity? The answer to this pertinent question, the author has thrown to the readers to decide. The Quest has through the events established, that love is always a conflict and conflict stands valid because lovers could always be withdrawn. When one wants to free himself from the whole of the other, but other is always trying to free himself from the hold of the other, that there is always trying to free himself from him. One has to go well in the heart of it to fish out, what life in particular or general stands for. The author’s role in characterization of the dominant players in this novel has not been established in bad faith. The contingency of ongoing human existence has freed the very root of this novel, where-in sex played a predominant role and aspiration, in ascending order strived for attending the myriad of lustful life. The author thus has wanted to discover the essentials of relationship and draws the readers to be a part of his quest, which perhaps would never end in anything, but in love, beyond all measures of marital computation.
Initially the orthodox leaders would term Quest – a lewd literature but would eventually start mending opinion when they would be driven search into their souls. As a fiction writer, the author in a broader spectrum of human existence, has investigated that life and reality-in-self, are a mystery that is not explicable in terms of relationship, where violating and impulsive forces shape the destiny of each character, but ultimately to prove that technical achievement would be measured by the degree in which the actions of human being are governed by compassion and love, not by greed, lust and aggressiveness. The author in this novel has made a mark of the spots of time, with distinct preeminence has retained in renovating virtue backed by spirituality.
The Quest is highly expository and critical to point out of problems of modern life and the author knows it very well that as a novelist his prime duty is to only expose and not much more than that. The conflicted characters are daringly living in their interrelated domains and each character interestingly has sight, sound and smell, which are the basics in exercise of their potent cry for freedom, though that is always a distant dream since human beings are always enmeshed in the web of uncertainty.
In this novel the author has made a grand tour of Indian mind and as a writer of his own age, has counted heavily the suffocating human existence, which has been penetrating the society as a whole, but finally he could undo the veil, to also reveal the essence of life and that essence is all pervading. In this area he is not evasive of his responsibility. The Quest confirms unending journey of human life, with hope to ultimately realize that the family is not always only ones flesh and blood, but the climate of the heart and the relationships are always extension of the essence of life that would have attained, only when flesh and blood add protein to the pulsating heart.