25 October, 2013

#BookReview :: Love,Films and Rock n Roll by Swayam Ganguly

Fate throws together three young men travelling on a train from Jamshedpur to Kolkata. 
Sunil is a graduate from FTII who wants to make a mark in Tollywood by directing his first feature film. 
Sameer aka Sam, is a software professional working in Silicon Valley. 
Dipankar aka Dipsy, decides to focus on music after being expelled from IIT on a false charge of peddling drugs.
Dilemmas, disillusionments and desires blend to tell their tales in this delightful novel,which although reflective of the carefree ways and the fun loving spirit of the younger generation also attempts to encourage them to incorporate the sense of values which are synonymous with our Indian culture.
And they bind one and all through Love, Films and Rock n Roll! 

In India, train journeys are considered to be fun because of the way strangers become friends for those few hours and most of them never meet or keep in touch later on. Such a train journey brings together Sunil, Sameer and Dipankar together and they bond over food, music and movies. Their connection is sort of instant and they exchange numbers to stay in touch. And that they do. The storyline then covers their journey with all the ups & downs and twist & turns that their lives have to offer them.

Sunil is a recent graduate from FTII who wants to direct quality films in Tollywood. He is smart and witty. He turns out to be a hardworking – whether to get a foot hold in the film industry or to maintain his relationship with Tanya. He is a truly lovable guy. Sameer is an NRI who is back home for a trip with a mission to find a nice Indian wife for himself.  It’s a twist of fate when he falls in love with the matchmaker herself! Dipankar gets kicked out off IIT on drug dealing charges and come back to Kolkata to pursue his long time dream and passion in music. Three very different people come together to give life to this story. The only common thread between them would be their awesome sense of humour. There are side-characters that are all equally well-developed and not one of them can be pointed out as unnecessary to the storyline. The plot has uniqueness in the sense that it depicts the mentality, the aspirations and the struggles of the modern generation. The author has fictionalised true tales from the lives of very common people and has kept things believable.

I have to say this… I accepted the review copy without any expectations other than taking a pleasant trip down the lanes of my hometown Kolkata. But I was hooked with the reference of Satyajit Ray  in the very first line of the book. (Yes, I am typical Bengali, who swears everything literature and movies by the name of Satyajit Ray) Then Sunil’s explanation of ‘Goopy Gyne, Bagha Byne’ had me in splits… And well then onward I was a goner. But the very reason of my liking this book is also the reason for my questioning its reception to the general mass. As a Bengali, I understood every reference and every joke in this book. But I doubt if they will be as funny to the non-bengalis who have never stepped in and experienced this culture. Even with the translations provided to the baul song, I don’t think it will mean as much to others like it would mean to a Bengali.

For me though Swayam Ganguly has made me laugh me like a maniac, be tensed and praying for the characters and in the end celebrate the lives of these characters as if I was one of them!

About the Author

Swayam Ganguly is a media professional and creative consultant who has worked extensively in Bangalore and Mumbai and is currently based in Kolkata. Apart from writing fiction, the author has also worked on abridged versions of novels and other content for different publishers. He is also the Creative Director, Content, for the website of the Mumbai-based online toy store called Yellow Giraffe. He has an avid interest in music and films and has directed the popular award-winning, regional band hunt reality show called ‘Band E Mataram’.

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Alchemy Publishers, in association with The Readaddicts, are giving away FOUR copies of Love, Films and Rock 'n' Roll by Swayam Ganguly to four lucky winners from India.

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1 comment:

  1. Whoa! I totally understand what you say about the Bengali sentiments!
    Seems like an interesting read. I'm probably gonna read this ASAP!
    Thanks for the review.

    Vinny @ Books Are My Best Friends .