I finished reading “English August” recently and although the book is very funny in the whole, there are some parts which deal with loneliness and they pierced right through my heart. I know that I say this about most books and novels but the loneliness part of Agastya’s life felt like I was reading my own diary. Even the language is the kind I'd have used. This sense of dislocation, the agony of being out of place and being on the wrong, the pain of never being understood and being surrounded by “sheeple”. I have realised a long time ago that there is hardly a condition as universal as the human loneliness and all the self-pity that comes with it. The irony is that no one is alone in their sense of loneliness.
“`It’s sick there’s no one to talk to, no place to go, nothing to do; just come back to your room after office, get drunk, feel lonely and jerk off.
Bhatia made Agastya’s secret life seem so ridiculous, he wanted to laugh. Its major consolation had been the possibility that it was a profound experience, something rare; now it seemed as common as a half-bottle whisky, something he shared with Bhatia. Agastya faintly disliked him for this, for shattering one of his last consoling illusions.
But he could not admit to their similarity. He realised obscurely that the sense of loneliness was too precious to be shared, and finally incommunicable, that men were, ultimately, islands; each has his own universe, immense only to himself, far beyond the grasp or the interest of others. For them the pettiness of the ordeal was unrecordable, worthy at best only of a flicker of empathy. He was not really interested in Bhatia’s life; later, Dhrubo would not be interested in his, and his father would not be able to understand it.