19 September, 2014

#BookReview :: Masterji by Puja Borker

As a young boy, Hari watches his widowed mother single-handedly shoulder the responsibility of the family that had been cast adrift by the sudden demise of his father. Driven by the desire to shield her children from abject poverty, she decides to move with the family to South India. Following years of struggle and penury, Hari grows up to be a schoolmaster, living by the values he teaches. That, however, is not always easy for him to do, and he often finds himself in conflict with a society that is as orthodox as it is unwilling to change. Through a chain of unforeseen events, Hari finds himself as a lone traveller on the winding road fate has chalked out for him.
Masterji is a moving tale of a man in conflict with the world and with himself in search of an eternal truth that lies beyond both.

Masterji by Puja Borkar tells us the story of Hari. Hari is a common man, one who never stands out in a crowd and yet is a part of the backbone of our society. After losing his father at an early age, he witnessed his widowed mother’s struggle to bring up her children alone. When the pressure becomes too much, his mother decides to move in with her family in a completely different part of the country. The story covers a number of years of Hari’s life and the different stages of his life.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It transports you to a whole different era and setting. The author has handled the setting very well by keeping   it true to the whole timeline. It was easy to transport back in time with the vivid descriptions that the author has presented us with. The characters are also very well fleshed out, especially that of our protagonist Hari. It was a pleasant journey to take with Hari as we explored different places, people, cultures and generations. Then there was Hari’s dilemma of whether to do what he aspired for or to do what was expected of him – something everyone would identify to. 

It was difficult to believe that this is a work of a debut author. Puja Borkar has certain finesse in her writing style that is both endearing and inviting to the readers. She has fleshed out her characters well and has just enough descriptions of the settings to help a readers’ imagination. Also, I applaud the fact that the author did not go the way most of today’s mainstream authors go - the typical in your face sex fest to portray love or the overly glamorized campus stories. Instead the author has taken a less trodden path and has produced a beautiful book.

Loved it and it is certainly worth your time.

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