13 November, 2013

#BookReview :: The Storm in My Mind by Ayaan Basu

The Storm in my Mind... is a collective narrative of events, habits, stereotypes and idiosyncrasies revolving around the contemporary society of Kolkata. It is a story of love as much as it is of hatred, passion, friendship, trust, misunderstandings, nostalgia and love for his city. It is the story of Aryan, his Kolkata and his mellowing heart that makes confessions of the times he has seen.  

‘The Storm in My Mind’, set in the backdrop of Kolkata, is essentially the story of a boy Aryan. Starting with his early years, the story chronicles his life with all its ups and downs, achievements and failures, from education to his career and his relationships with Kaira and Anushka. Balancing his life between studies, work and two girls is not easy, but Aryan takes on the challenge and soon learns a few of life’s lessons.

The characters are true to life for sure. They reflect what our generation is actually like and I would give kudos to the author for keeping them so. You will have love-hate relationship with each of them at some point of the story. You will be able to connect to the situations and moments in their lives because those things happen to us and to those around us too. Whether you will agree with them and their decisions/actions or not is a different matter but I assure you that you will ‘know’ at least one of them in your real life. Another good thing about this book is its pace and the flow of the story, the author managed to keep things just right. Coming to the plot, it is ordinary and same old ‘ghisa-pita’ formula with very little to offer in terms of surprises and twists. The dialogues did not stick too well with me and felt bit off and rough for conversations between friend and lovers. 

This time I also want to get in a few points about the cover and the tagline of this book. I loved the cover of the book. It has a rustic feel to it – the dirty walls and broken wooden windows automatically make me think of north Kolkata where you can still find a lot of old architecture. The hand pulled rickshaw again is a thing that can bring only Kolkata to your mind. The moment I saw the cover I was engulfed in a nostalgic feeling – ‘my Kolkata’. *Sigh* Then there’s the tagline… For a bong girl who is now situated in a different state and every second sentence uttered is ‘I miss Phuchka’, it is a magnet. I picked up this book with hopes of talking a walk through the lanes of my beloved city and experience things again that I have been missing for the last two years. But my biggest disappointment lies here – Kolkata should not have been included in the tagline at all. ‘Ami and confessions’ is fine as this story is all about Aryan and his life… Take Kolkata out of the equation and put Mumbai/London instead – the story or the emotions would remain intact and unaffected. The story lacks the spirit of Kolkata totally. Just naming a few hot spots or including a few lines about places and food that would feel more at home in a travel guide does not make the cut.

Overall, this book is a one-time time-pass sort of thing. While I would not go out of my way to recommend this to anybody, I would not stop anyone from picking it up either.  

Rating - 2 and a Half Hearts

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