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Although they had an age-gap of 10 years, yet we can feel their chemistry, and mentally wanting something more to happen between them. And we get the surprise in the last few letters when Uma mentions in her letter that she was coming to live with Abhi at London. But the author didn't pour any more details further that, it was left to the readers imagination and I liked it a lot.

This novel is purely based on friendship between two pen friends, sharing every emotions of their life with each other. Although it's Madhumita Mukherjee's debut novel, this story is certainly going to be etched in our hearts forever. This novel pays a tribute to the medical science and the field of surgery and also how women, who take up surgery for their practice, gets criticized. Although we don't get to know much about these two characters, but still Uma and Abhi have managed to made their mark in the readers' mind in a very beautiful way.

This book ends off on the note that they both have managed to succeed to the other side of the table and hence the title gets aptly justified. Thanks to Arcopol Chaudhuri for recommending this book. Apr 10, D rated it really liked it. Its been done in such a beautiful way that for a moment you get into the character and wait for their letters. Its not easy to write a book based on letter writing theme.

Author has done a wonderful job. Its difficult to believe that its author's first book. I wish she comes out with the sequel. I would loved to know what happened to Abhi. Their reaction once they meet after ages. Also, how things would be if they lived together.

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On the other side of the fence/table | WordReference Forums

Either she'd write a sequel or its readers homework to decide what would've happened next. Basically it is based on reader's imagination. Overall a good read.

Jan 16, Arcopol Chaudhuri rated it it was amazing. This book is a love letter to medicine. A wonderful, heartwarming story about two doctors, I still can't believe this is Madhumita Mukherjee's debut novel. Some parts of the book made me cry, and the ending - no matter how many times I revisit it - still produces a lump in my throat. I suppose this book would make for a wondeful gifting idea, especially to those connected to the world of medicine. View all 5 comments. Feb 12, Arunima rated it really liked it.

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Five years ago, debut author Madhumita Mukherjee was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. A paediatrician by profession, she had to take time off work for a year to undergo extensive treatment. For a person who loved travelling, that year the only travel she could manage was from the sofa to the bed. She was scared, bored and hated everything around her.

So, she did what people do to get through an unbearable situation - she started telling herself a story. A world where I decided what happened and I knew how it would end. Writing fiction, I found, can make you feel oddly powerful. The narrative comprises an exchange of letters over several years between Uma and Abhi, the two protagonists. I was personally reminded of Tumhari Amrita, an Indian context adaptation of A. Gurney's American play, Love Letters and was intrigued to know why Madhumita chose to write in this particular form?

I like the first person narrative. It feels much closer and more real than a third person narrative by an omniscient narrator.

The Other Side Of The Table

Although it can sometimes limit what you can write but since my book is a conversation between two characters separated by several thousand miles, it had to be in this form," says Madhumita. Uma and Abhi have been friends since childhood. Abhi's parents, we learn through the course of his letters, are no more alive and his only family are his three friends and Uma. He lives in London and is training to be a surgeon.

Uma is 10 years younger to him and she too is studying medicine in Calcutta. Their friendship unfolds through the letters written between the years and Abhi's nature of presuming things often clashes with Uma's expectations - when she tells him about her medical school building being haunted, he writes back saying, "It's unbelievable how a smart girl like you is afraid of ghosts" and later when she tells him about her crush, he judges her by saying "how can a sensible girl" turn out to be "coup de foudre kind.

Everyone else tries to dissuade her from taking up surgery, compelling her to believe that women cannot and do not make good surgeons. But her decision remains firm and she lets no one challenge her. Uma's husband Mrinal comes across as an absolute wimp. He neither has the personality that deserves special mention nor the decision-making ability of a respectable human. He has no say whatsoever - not when his family nags Uma to quit her job, not when they blame her for the miscarriage and definitely not when she decides to divorce him.

On the other side of the fence/table

In a sudden turn of events, Abhi is diagnosed with brain tumour. His life, from being an independent surgeon in control of others' lives, takes a detour where he is forced to become a patient, in the process taking a seat on the other side of the table, which essentially explains the title of the book. For a surgeon too, after years of rigorous training and envying seniors who operate while they only observe and assist, when someone actually finds himself on the 'other side', the surgeon's side of the operating table, they realise the onus of the job. She eventually gives up on her inability to decode the real meaning of love and marital bliss and focuses on her true calling, becoming a surgeon.

There's a reason why you may think that the book may deserve a sequel but since Madhumita doesn't like the idea of sequels, she is certain that there won't be any. Besides, I wanted to leave the ending open to the reader's interpretation and imagination," says she. She has been living and working in England since as a Paediatrician. She has a special affinity for epistolary novels as well as novels written as journals and diaries like 'Diary of a Provincial Lady' by E.

Besides these, she takes special interest in novels with medical themes such as 'A Country Doctor's Notebook' by Mikhail Bulgakov.


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Her message to the readers as a doctor is to never take health for granted. Also read on http: Mar 14, Adiba rated it it was amazing. Crisp and is everything that it claims to be, you read the letters like your own, are involved in their life, hint of suspense as to what the next letter might be. Jan 09, Fatima JAX rated it it was amazing. A well written and yet another letter-writing theme novel I read after "The Perks of being a wallflower". It is nothing better than to lose yourself in a good book. This book exactly did that to me. I would definitely recommend this to everyone. Feb 26, Vivek Tejuja rated it really liked it.

There are some books you never thought you would read and when you do, you are only too glad that you did. There have been plenty of such books in my life. They make an appearance when not known to me at all, I may start reading a while later, however when I do, I wonder why I did not earlier.

They leave an impression so vivid that I know I will reread the book. It is almost like food you never liked and somehow it seems to grow on you so much that you relish it. This has happened to me quite la There are some books you never thought you would read and when you do, you are only too glad that you did. I never liked novels written in the form of letters.

Somehow it did not work for me at all. I tried reading 86 Charing Cross Road, liked it a little and some more, but just left it at that. There have been other books, on similar lines which I did not love or want to go back to. It is not that I do not like reading letters, however reading them in a book format, more so when fictional, does not cut it for me. Uma and Abhi almost got into my skin while reading this book.

This book also reminded me of it to a very large extent. Uma and Abhi are childhood friends. It is surprising that they are childhood friends considering Uma is younger by 10 years and yet that does not matter. The letters are written from to and reflect almost everything about those years.


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  4. Abhi is a surgeon in London. Uma is studying medicine in Calcutta. That in short is the premise of the story. Why did I love this book compared to the others? I loved the way it was written.

    At no point, as a reader was I bored and at the same time, I did not feel that the book was way too sentimental, given what happens later which I will not reveal. The writing is easy and does not veer into medical terms which it could have that the reader might not understand. Off late, I have started reading a lot of Indian fiction and it is suiting me just fine. A read that will for sure leave you with a smile on your face and maybe that is most required in times such as these.

    Feb 25, Maryann rated it really liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I couldn't stop looking at how the London Bridge was reflected in the waters of the Hooghly under the Howrah Bridge, to the point that it was turning out to be rather difficult to tear my eyes away from the cover and get between the covers. But then they all lack the beauty and intimacy of a hand written letter. The Other Side of the Table by Madhumita Mukherjee is a beautifully haunting book in the form of letters between two friends- Abhi, who is training to be a neurosurgeon in London and Uma, who is just entering the world of medicine in Calcutta.

    Each letter acts like a new chapter and leads you on beautifully. Abhi is older than Uma and is already an established surgeon and Uma, who has just entered medical college is a keen student and is determined to shine. Through the book we see Uma mature from a girl to a woman and Abhi enter a more serious and somber stage of his life. The correspondence between Abhi and Uma, which spans ten years, gives us a picture of their friendship, their frankness and how vocal and comfortable they are with each other, taking advice from each other on matters pertaining to life, their careers, relationships, marriage, love and sex.

    As the book progresses, one sees Abhi and Uma go through defining moments in their lives; marriage, difficult relationships, heartbreak, challenges at the workplace and a critical illness. What I also loved was how we see Uma evolve from a headstrong and stubborn girl to a woman who has tasted heartbreak and defeat and taken it in her stride and moved on and how Abhi, emerges from being a carefree and breezy young man to someone with deeper realizations about life and his purpose and values.

    This is a book which doesn't leave you even after you've turned the last page and whose characters you begin to miss because they'd begun to feel like friends. Heartbreaking, yet heart-warming, a beautifully told story; highly recommended. This is a book review requested by the publisher Feb 13, Ramya Idea Smith rated it it was amazing. The story is told entirely through letters between two people.

    Letter-writing isn't just a lot art, it's a lost form of conversations. Time is the punctuation for those familiar with the language of letters.

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    Because of the time that lapses in between, people's lives move on. Every new letter is both a re vIf you've ever been a letter-writer, you will love this book. Every new letter is both a response to the previous and the beginning of a new chapter. Thus letters are like milestones on life's journey, rather than parts of conversation. No wonder, as the book says, "We have been storytellers, chroniclers and witnesses of each other's lives.

    Abhimanyu is her older friend, already a successful doctor, who advises her, challenges her idealism and acts as a sounding board through her growing-up pains. Over time, Uma matures to being more of an equal to Abhi just as he enters the second stage of adulthood - questioning his purpose, settling his values etc. Through a correspondance spanning ten years, we see fatal illnesses, marriage and heartbreak. The voices of the two main characters come through distinctly even as they evolve with the various life-changing situations they each experience.

    I loved the two characters and how their evolution occurs through the book - Uma's naivete, then disillusionment, defeat, resignation, acceptance and renewal and Abhi's breeziness, flightiness, crash landing, devastation, darkness and renewal. It's a lovely story told well. Mar 06, Bhargavi Balachandran rated it really liked it Shelves: There are books that will cry hoarse and demand you to pick them up , and there are the unassuming ones that will quietly work their magic on you. Before you reach the last page of the book , it would have successfully cast a spell on you. The Other Side of The Table belongs to the second variety.

    I have always loved reading epistolary books ; this books hasn't disappointed me as well. Letters fly back and forth Abhi, who is a neurosurgeon based in London and Uma, a feisty girl stepping into th There are books that will cry hoarse and demand you to pick them up , and there are the unassuming ones that will quietly work their magic on you. Letters fly back and forth Abhi, who is a neurosurgeon based in London and Uma, a feisty girl stepping into the world of medicine in Kolkatta.

    What do they write about? Madhumita has done a great job in capturing the essence of both the characters through the letters they pen. Uma who appears rather immature and impetuous at the beginning mellows into a resilient woman as things get tough at work and with her domestic front. Abhi , who initially comes across as a level-headed intelligent chap turns pessimistic when he gets ill. Lovers lost , disappointments faced, new achievements conquered - the letters tell them all. The language is lovely and the editing taut.

    Despite being an erudite piece of fiction, the book is amazingly easy to read and not pretentious one bit. However, a more reserved employee may thrive in data entry positions such as a billing and coding specialist. An ophthalmic technician must be friendly as he or she will interact with your patients a great deal, but must also be detail-oriented.

    So how do you figure out what kind of attributes an interviewee brings to the table? If he or she seems extremely uncomfortable or quiet, a front desk role may not be appropriate. Work experience will give you an idea of how he or she handles challenges. An excellent candidate will always arrive early, appear professionally dressed and groomed, and exhibit a positive behavior. Additionally, candidates should not exhibit an air of entitlement or come across as if they assume the job is already theirs.

    Beware of applicants who do not arrive on time, look disheveled, or exhibit personality traits that do not exemplify professionalism as these characteristics suggest a lack of caring on the part of the interviewee. Observe how that person interacts with your staff when presenting himself for the interview. This is key to hiring optometry staff. Jumping from job to job suggests a fickle employee, while unrealistic performance expectations based upon bragging during the interview sets that person up for failure. Additionally, outside of a current employer who may not be aware that the candidate is looking for a new opportunity, you should be able to contact any past supervisors to help figure out what kind of worker your applicant is.

    Not being able to do so should tip you off to potential problems he or she does not want you to know about. These are only a few examples of red flags. Dictionary and thread title search: Previous Thread Next Thread. Hi everyone, Are table and fence interchangeable here? Livia1 Senior Member Italian. Hi, I'd use "fence" but I'm not English. Native speakers will surely help you better than me. Livia1 , Oct 8, Thanks, could any native speaker clear up my confusion?