21 May, 2015

#BookReview :: Story of Tublu by Jahid Akhtar

Devastated by the floods, Bipin and his little boy Tublu move to a faraway land, where they meet the Sharma’s. This marks the beginning of a long and enduring relationship between Bipin and the Sharma’s, and the growing friendship of their children Tublu and Maina. The book captures the journey of this friendship through childhood to adolescence and into adulthood. From some interesting school and college humor, the story progresses on and develops into a mature narrative. As years pass, Tublu’s plain and silent crush on Maina develops into deep love and longing for Maina which bears the potential to conquer all of life’s challenges. The story has its share of drama, that entertains; humor, that makes one reminisce; love, friendship and emotions that defines the amazing journey that is, life.

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We meet Tublu as he begins a new chapter in his life in a new city as he is forced to move with his father – driven away from his hometown due to floods. As Tublu and his father start to settle in, their lives get entwined with the Sharma family. Tublu finds a new friend in Maina, the daughter of the Sharma family. The story then follows them from their childhood to their teenage to as they turn into adults.

Through Tublu and Maina, the author has portrayed different stages of a person’s life and their different perspectives at those stages. From childhood friendship to teenage crush to something that is more matured, the stages of love in a person’s life are also beautifully captured. I enjoyed reading as these characters grew and developed over the years and through the pages. Initially when I picked up this book, I was expecting a simple love story but this book offers a lot more. The everyday nuances captured give a feel of reality to the story. Growing up, friendships, love and infatuations, facing harsh realities and even sorrow are few very simple elements of the story that makes it so gripping. The author’s narrative is engaging and he has kept his language dainty enough to make it really easy to get into the flow of things. Additionally, I would like to point out that as per the current trend; the author has included Hindi dialogues at certain moments. But he doesn’t overdo it and therein lays his success.

There are two things that I did not like much about the book. First is the fact that the Foreword and Introduction contain innumerable spoilers. After reading about three pages, I felt as if I knew the whole story. It was quite a turn off because of which I had put the book down for two days before picking it up again. The second thing that bugged me is the fact that the author covers decades of time period within two hundred odd pages. As a result, I found the pace rushed and a bit cheated because I felt like there was lot more that we could have known about the characters.

The title of the book maybe simple and not that attractive, but the book holds a lot more promise.

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.

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