Pentacles comprises one long story and four short poems by Sabarna Roy.

The work delightfully bridges the gap between the mundane and arcane writings of today and provides an interesting, yet intellectually stimulating, treat for the discerning reader. New Life is a long story written from the perspective of a successful adult whose mother had deserted the family for another man. The teenage angst and the scars it has left behind on the psyche of the protagonist are subtly reflected in the character.

Pemtacles by Sabarna Roy
The image belongs to Sabarna Roy and is released under GFDL license

Pentacles comprises one long story and four short poems by Sabarna Roy.

The work delightfully bridges the gap between the mundane and arcane writings of today and provides an interesting, yet intellectually stimulating, treat for the discerning reader. 

New Life is a long story written from the perspective of a successful adult whose mother had deserted the family for another man. The teenage angst and the scars it has left behind on the psyche of the protagonist are subtly reflected in the character. The different elements and characters of the story are beautifully interwoven to produce an intense and compelling story of an adult haunted by the trauma of being deserted by his mother. The work is interspersed with thought-provoking views on issues like love and socio-economic conditions in India.

The traditional rhyme and metre dominated poems are on love, loss and longing. Unshackled by the bonds of rhyme and metre, Sabarna’s free verses evoke the stark reality of urban life, hitting you straight in the guts. The use of everyday urban imagery adds to the appeal of the compositions. The concrete prison of urban life and the unfulfilled desire to escape to a simple life is aptly brought out in The Tower. The other poems of the collection are more biographical in nature with the protagonist being the member of the fairer sex. The free verses sketch out their life story with its attendant pathos, poignancy and logic. The best part of all the compositions is that the reader will definitely identify with the poet and will, in one form or other, have similar stories to narrate.

Selected Excerpts

New Life – 4

Some people may recall the first appearance of the shark in the movie Jaws by Steven Spielberg. You had been waiting for this scene for a long time in trepidation. Just when you thought the scene is likely to be delayed by a few seconds and you relaxed from the numbness of an anxious wait, the deadly fish sprang out of the foamy waters and you thought in panic that it had torn apart the cinema screen and leapt inside the dark hall. I had similar feelings waiting for an unknown woman in the milieu of an effervescent crowd of hungry eaters. The air was filled with blaring music, scents of cheese, garlic bread and French fries; and the lingering haze of expensive perfumes and colognes. I had no liking for pizza. Why I had decided to meet Seemanti at Pizza Hut was difficult to grasp! I reached the place five minutes before time. Frankly I was growing increasingly irritated with every passing moment. I waited in a relatively less noisy corner with a translucent glass of coke, sipping now and then, trying to look through the ocean of people to locate somebody walking towards me. Ironically nobody seemed to be interested in me. When it was approximately thirty minutes past four, I thought the phone call was a hoax and in all possibility, a dirty prank played by a cohort of Ranu on me. It was possible Ranu and her companions were keeping a close watch on me from near about and having fun at my expense. This infuriated me. I scanned the entire place carefully and stealthily with my roving eyes: my head moving slowly like a lighthouse lamp, trying to catch a glimpse of Ranu. I was sure by then that she was hiding somewhere in a strategic vantage point laughing out in rolling waves and patting herself at the success of her practical joke. I decided to invent some issue to throw her out of the company. I felt my neck stiffening and suddenly afflicted with a sharp pain moving up the spine because of the awkward rotational movement of my head. I started feeling tired and exasperated. I was on the verge of getting up. As I looked at my watch before leaving, I was a bit shocked to see a woman sitting opposite me with a magical smile on her lips. It was somewhat embarrassing looking into her enormously big black eyes. From a cursory glance, yet most comprehensive under the circumstances, I observed the woman was wearing a pair of faded jeans and a red t-shirt. She was frail, short and pale. She was not someone one could compliment as beautiful, but her eyes and smile had a charm of their own. Her head was full of thick ruffled curly deep black hair neatly cut to shoulder length. Although she was tiny in size, she carried with her an air of firm composure. From her smile, I could make out she knew me. I felt relieved with the growing feeling that I was not being used for somebody’s mindless enjoyment after all! It was soon replaced by anger. I felt very angry at this woman; how discourteous she could be! She kept me waiting for an hour (after having taken the initiative of fixing up an appointment with me in the unholy hours past midnight). As I looked at her eyes once again I found them slightly swollen, possibly from lack of sleep. “Mr. Sen I’m Seemanti. I’m so very sorry to keep you waiting. Frankly, I fell asleep. The alarm didn’t work. I apologize. I know you are mad at me. I worked till noon today. I was awake the whole night. I’m working on something very interesting now. I’ll tell you. But please smile first.” She spoke so frankly and in a matter of fact manner, I had no option other than swallowing my anger. In fact, quite unexpectedly and involuntarily, I burst out laughing. In another part of my mind, I was exploring each quadrant of Seemanti’s face for any connection, however weak, linking her to Amalendu. Surprisingly I found none in my quick mental comparisons to the images of Amalendu’s face that flickered in the wells of my eyes based on memory. I was happy about it. It would have been so difficult for me to carry on a proper conversation with anybody who reminded me constantly of Amalendu. Seemanti relaxed as I laughed.

2001-2002 – 1

I remember the night of December 21, 2001 vividly like a fresh cut wound, I saw in a dream: A monstrous blackbird swerving, Making mystical patterns in the air on orange fire-lit desert. As if, the loneliness and boredom of my life was on an edge of explosion, I woke up from my bed and sauntered down the corridor of my apartment, Through vaporous darkness unaware of others, And the chill freezing in the midnight breeze. I walked from room to room imitating, The motions of the blackbird in my dream, In search of something I did not know. Then I saw the refrigerator standing in the corner of the dining hall, Faintly illuminated by streaks of bluish light. It shone like an ice-man whose image I had conjured up in childhood, Listening to the mysteries of the Yeti roving among Himalayan peaks. I proceeded towards it pulled by an unseen magnetic force, I opened its door half-hoping to find the mysteries of my life, Preserved inside its cooling chambers in colourful bottles of glass. I opened the door and saw a haze of white light bathed in thick clouds of steam, Pouring inside the apartment filling it up in no time. There was nothing inside, The freezer, the trays and the walls looking maniacally sterilized, As one did in a morgue and they were lying there brazenly empty. All of a sudden the fluorescence, The shafts of cold steam and the buzz of the electric motor became one, Resonating with the universe and the motions of my soul to tell me: I was still swimming in my dream.

Book Reviews

I have already completed three books of the author, "Random Subterranean", "Frosted Glass" & "Abyss". Sabarna Roy is an amazing writer. His writings always keep trails in the minds of readers. I have chosen this novella only because of the psychiatrist author.

The novella, "Pentacles", contains one long story and four short poems by Sabarna Roy. The name of the long story is "New Life".

Have you ever wondered what would happen to a boy who lost his parents at the age of thirteen? This is the saga of a boy named Kingshuk whose mother abandoned him and his father when he was a few months over thirteen years of age. A few days later, his father died because of shock.

The story is very pathetic. It will definitely make you moan. The usage of a few chosen words of English by the author will pierce your hearts with pain. In the novella, the author talks about love, marriages and breakups. Names of the four short poems are, "The Tower", " Chasing", "2001-2002", & "Tara". All are written in plain English. My rating for the novella would be 5 out of 5.

Abhijit Chakraborty The pathetic saga of a boy

This is my third book from the same author and I’m really impressed by the writing style of author. This book consist of one long short story and four long story poems in free verse.

“New Life” is a long story written from the perspective of a successful adult whose mother has deserted the family for another man. The author has purely shown the teenage angst and scars left over the protagonist. The author has well expressed the issues like love and socio-economic conditions in India. The story is beautifully interwoven to produce an intense And compelling story of an adult hunted by the dreams of being deserted by his own mother. The book is filled with traditional rhyme And poems on love, loss and longing. The language is easy with good narration. The author has worked well to show that small incidents have big impact on life. I’m impressed that the author showed that incident from childhood can have impact on adulthood. Human emotions are expressed very nicely. I would give it 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

Aishwarya Taral Amazing Read

More than the story, the poems left a deeper impact on me this time; especially the last two poems. They were heartfelt, so twisted in their core but as simple as human emotions. The main character was as complex as the story. He was flawed which made him more intriguing. This is what I look for in modern age short stories. There was a sense of heavy darkness in the story which made it so much more real. The philosophy that flowed through the words is a beauty to behold.

'I can't do without him, yet I feel worthless in his presence now'- is such a powerful line and strikes the perfect emotions. I never knew melancholy could be so beautifully penned down. The story, although does flow at its own pace, is rather slow.

Overall, this is a serious book meant for serious readers. If you can fish out the underlying emotions and read in-between the lines, this is the book for you.

Shruti An heartfelt mixture of human emotions

Other Books

Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020 - Letters, Ideas, Conversations & Poems

Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020

Sabarna Roy was awarded the Literoma Laureate Award for Fiction in 2019
Random Subterranean Mosaic - 2012 – 2018 Time Frozen in Myriad Thoughts

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Frsoted Glass by Sabarna Roy


Frosted Glass comprises one story cycle consisting of 14 stories and 21 poems