As times have changed, life has shifted from villages to cities and from eventful to mechanical. Amidst this, human nature has never ceased to surprise with its dynamism, and yet the basic instinct remains the same as ever. Although, many writers in the past tried to find the element of excitement in this mundaneness of life and still continue to. The author Vividha Bindu has also created a marvel in her novel, “Pieces of Birchbark Parchments.” Through the work, she makes a unique form of fiction writing, which is perhaps the fundamental factors that ignite the interests of the readers the moment they set their eyes on the cover. The cover is striking and eye-catching and also has the power to captivate the readers right away.
Although the title seems baffling to the readers initially, it makes absolute sense and matches the readers’ expectations by the time they reach the end. The pieces of birchbark parchments trigger the events into action and have more of a catalytic effect in the life of Sagar and also in the imagination of the readers. Bindu begins building the narrative by depicting the mundane life of cities where people work in corporate organizations through the characters of Mona and Sagar. By the time she begins to give the planned twist, she already has the readers’ attention, and they are awestruck by the sudden change of events almost halfway through. If Lewis Carol knew what modern-day life would be like, perhaps he would have created the same world in his “Alice in Wonderland” as Bindu has done in “Pieces of Birchbark Parchments.”
In the midst of the creation of the universe by birchbark parchments, the author explores a variety of themes and subjects that form the underlying current of the work. These include gender differences, competitiveness in the world, the importance of relations (closeness to friends and family), complex human nature, and the significance of reading. The author sums up “Pieces of Birchbark Parchments” beautifully thus,
“Pieces of Birchbark Parchments is a magical adventure involving emotions and feelings, sprinkled with splashes of magic.”
Apart from this, the plot is woven in such a manner that the book is suitable to be read by both grown-up and younger readers. The style in which it begins and how events take a spin also is symbolic of the unpredictability of life and how necessary it is to value things other than money because money cannot buy everything after all. In between here and there, the author also uses different pictures to refresh the readers, and thus, they have an unforgettable reading experience. The chapters are also of an adequate length. They are neither too short nor too long. They are written just according to the needs of an average reader. While writing the riddles, Bindu also displays her skills in writing verse, which also hints at her potential to write poetry in the future. Although they are not interpreted instantly by the readers, they can understand them after reading a few times. Every reader would find one thing or the other that would increase their interest as they read through the book. The language that the author uses does the rest of the work. She keeps it simple and clear so that maximum readers can understand her thoughts and see the different world she creates. Therefore, recommending “Pieces of Birchbark Parchments” to all kinds of readers of fiction would not be wrong. Much like Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels,” Bindu’s book holds relevance for people of all ages and can be read by all with different viewpoints and perspectives.
The characters of Sagar and Mona show the inherent conflicts in the mind of any individual and how they struggle through their lives. Although Mona’s appearance is brief and Sagar dominates the canvas of the book, she does her work of highlighting the issues carefully and candidly, which the author intended to hint at. The frequent shifts in narration from first to the third person also ensure that the readers get involved in the action and, at the same time, experience the “alienation effect” (which Brecht used in his epic theatre). This makes the characters relatable for many readers. The plot construction is also done well. As the author plays with the imagination of the readers from the beginning, she constructs the plot without the readers knowing about their involvement. She describes things in detail and makes sure the readers get engrossed along with Sagar and the events in his life. Therefore, every reader should atleast take Vividha Bindu’s “Pieces of Birchbark Parchments” and take a plunge into the world that she has created.