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Afeem Sagar Sea Of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

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Afeem Sagar is a story set in the 1830s. It brings out the myriad colours and shadier elements of a family stricken with internal conflicts, as well as the social dogmas that plagued the Indian society back in the days. It also describes the outbreak of the Opium Wars in China, placing the fictional characters in a factual backdrop who unexpectedly meet on a ship. The lives of Deeti who is a common villager, Zachary Reid who is an American sailor, an opium trader Benjamin Bumham, Paulette who is a French orphan, and a zamindar named Neel Rattan Halder are about to change forever. They all meet as though they were destined to become a family that made Ibis, the ship, their home. Each character comes with an emotive background and has a story that they have left behind in different lands. Penury brings all these characters together and they fill one another’s broken souls and the journey continues to destinies that are not augured. All these characters have an association with opium. Amitav associates the main characters of the book to poppy seeds birthing in enormous numbers and appearing like an eerie ocean. He associates the story to this idea in such a way that like the poppy seeds, all the characters are unsure of their destiny. Discover the profoundly philosophical journeys of the different characters in this book.

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