Prakash Books India
|Number of Pages
"The Other Side of the Table" is about, as it always happens in most books, two people and the letters exchanged by them over a couple of years. Uma and Abhi are childhood friends. It is surprising that they are childhood friends considering Uma is younger by 10 years and yet that does not matter. The letters are written from 1990 to 1999 and reflect almost everything about those years. Abhi is a surgeon in London. Uma is studying medicine in Calcutta. That in short is the premise of the story.
At no point, a reader will be bored or feel that the book is way too sentimental, given what happens later. The writing is easy and does not veer into medical terms (which it could have) that the reader might not understand. There are issues mentioned in the book like women's rights (to some extent) and yet it is done in a subtle and understated manner. "The Other Side of the Table" is a bittersweet read, somewhat like life. I would definitely recommend this to everyone. A read that will for sure leave you with a smile on your face and maybe that is most required in times such as these.
The Other Side Of The Table is an epistolary novel, about two people who stay connected over the years through their letters to each other, though separated from each other by thousands of miles of land and sea.
Summary Of The Book
The Other Side Of The Table explores how relationships can stay alive even over long distance and through many years, if the people share a true connection with each other. Abhi and Uma, the characters in the book are childhood friends.
Both of them choose medicine as their profession. Abhi eventually leaves India and trains as a neurosurgeon in London and settles down in that country. Uma enters medical college when Abhi begins his training in London. They keep in touch by writing letters to each other regularly.
Abhi provides help and advice to Uma as she progresses through her studies and makes the decision to be a surgeon, an unusual choice for a woman in India. She finds support for her choice from Abhi and dares to pursue her dreams.
Life interferes in their dreams and both make mistakes in their personal lives and suffer for it. Through it all, they support each other, emotionally and intellectually, staying in touch continually, whatever the turbulence in their lives.
For Abhi, who had lost his parents at a young age, Uma is the one firm connection he has with India. She keeps alive the connection through her descriptions of Bengali traditions and the festivals she celebrates each year. For Uma, Abhi is the one person who supports and understands her, even though he lives in a different continent.
The Other Side Of The Table continues their epistolary relationship over a period of ten years, the two characters slowly maturing over the period, as they experience the different aspects of life, both the good and the bad.
About Madhumita Mukherjee
Madhumita Mukherjee is an author and a doctor.
Madhumita Mukherjee grew up in Delhi and later did her medical studies at Calcutta National Medical College. Since 2001, she has been living in England and is a paediatrician. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and that gave her a different perspective, that of a patient. To take her mind off her ordeal, she began writing a novel, keeping the subject and plot close to her own experiences, as a doctor and then as a patient battling cancer.