Friday, 9 December 2016

Book Review #73 : In Loving Memory

Title: In Loving Memory
Author: Haimanti Datta Ray
Publisher: Rupali Publications
Pages: 100
Genre: Non-Fiction/ Biography

In Loving Memory is in Haimanti Dutta Ray’s own words a memoir where a doting daughter recounts how she had seen her father the late painter Shyamal Dutta Ray, who passed away in 2005, at close quarters as well as her reflections on the art fraternity to which her father had belonged. The book isn’t about lamenting the loss of a beloved father; it is primarily a daughter’s reappraisal of his influence on her life that has been wilfully accentuated, and a celebration of this.

It is a memoir where a lovely daughter, the author Haimanti Dutta Ray, expresses her love to her father,  Shyamal Dutta Ray, a noted water colorist, in a sensitive way. It is a very short and sweet read with less than hundred pages. The artistic paintings done by author's father gain attraction.

The writing is so appealing for the fact, the memories were captured not only from the aspect of a doting daughter but also from the aspect of a fan who loved the art. She has written not just about the artist, but about the man behind those beautiful canvases that adorn the walls of several museums and private collections.

It also portrays some of her outings with her dad on special invitation to few places and what her dad liked the most. The book also points how her father stuck to the water colors when his counterpart moved to oil painting. Rivers have made the impact to create wonders in his paintings. His paintings have got a place in the hearts of thousands of people as well as they are displayed in national and international galleries.

What moved me the most was the final chapter "And Life Goes On" where the author talks about how her life and that of her mother changed after her father's demise. She writes, "Life must and should go on. This is the lesson that I have learnt after Baba’s death. Books have become a constant companion and a solid mass of unalloyed love and commitment, post our bereavement."

This book is an honest and humble tribute to a father by his daughter. It is a fantastic attempt by her in remembering her father for his great works getting national and international repute. This book is of great help to understand and appreciate the works of one of our major painters.

Born in 1934 at Ranchi , Shyamal Dutta Ray started drawing and painting at a very early age. The author of this book Haimanti Dutta Ray gives a clear picture about her father’s commitment and devotion to his job as a painter. He was blessed with a keen mind and the ability to impress others with his paintings. Since he worked hard to give life to his drawings and dreams he was honoured by laurels and prizes. 

Coming to the book – the writing style is simple and to the point. The inclusion of some of Dutta Ray’s paintings is an added bonus, as you flip pages.

The book is a good read for the artists and students of art so that they get a clear picture of an artist's life.

Rating: 4.5/5

P.S: I won a review copy from The Tales Pensieve as part of Reviewers Programme. Register on #TTP for lots of #book fun and activities.


  1. Thank you very much, Ayesha. It felt wonderful to read this. I can be reached at Thanks again.

  2. Hi, Really great effort. Everyone must read this article. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.


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