07 February, 2016

#BookReview :: Wanted Back-Bencher and Last-Ranker Teacher by Kavita Bhupta Ghosh

"When indiscipline at Roderick International School, Mussoorie, becomes an alarming issue for members of the Board, educators and parents alike, CEO Jacob Roderick decided to bring in an experimental teacher, Roma Mathur against the wishes of the Board of Directors to curb the growing aggression, hostility and vandalism. 

Will someone like Roma Mathur, written off by her teachers as a ‘Moron’ and ‘Good for nothing’, be able to inspire learning in students who loath studying and sitting in classrooms? Will this maverick academic, who had been extremely mischievous as a student herself, be able to instill values and discipline in her students? Is there any place for someone as unconventional as Roma Mathur among the esteemed and sophisticated faculty at the prestigious International School? Has Jacob Roderick made a grave mistake in recruiting someone who plays drums, watches Tom and Jerry, beat up Goons in the pub, and rides a sports bike, over the gold medalist, experienced teachers who had applied? What was it the school needed at this desperate hour? 

It is time for the students of RIS to take a call on what kind of teachers they need in their classrooms. 

Teaching is a very important career choice and I feel that Teachers can make or break generations. These days it is no longer a ‘calling’ but just a career choice and as a result we hardly find teachers who really influence their students. I know from personal experience how a good teacher can inspire you, influence you, shape your thoughts and mould you into the person you finally become. 

The blurb of this book attracted me because I like the idea of a dark horse winning the race. At the same time I figured that this would be a story where a teacher does influence a particular generation in the positive way and I just had to pick up and read this book. It is needless to say that I had high expectations from this book and I am glad to report that the author has lived up to it almost completely.

The book deals with an unconventional protagonist, Roma Mathur. We either see a protagonist who has always been good and done the right thing, or we have seen protagonists who have gone down the wrong road but finally ‘find themselves’ somewhere along the way and do the right thing in the end. But Roma Mathur has always been unapologetically rebellious and not for the sake of rebelling, but because that is how people interpreted her true nature. Her strength lies in her confidence in herself irrespective of all the labels that the society has tried to put on her over the years. She comes in and ‘saves the day’ not because she has some super power or because she always does the right thing – but because she understood, she reflected, she empathized and because she was willing to take that extra step that conventional people probably would not.

I did love the way the author portrayed the various characters in the book along with certain situations that are our reality. Kavita Bhupta Ghosh has her own style of storytelling that is only complimented by her dainty language. Her narrative is mostly crisp but I felt that at one or two places the author did overdo with the dissemination of information. There are doses of reality dealt to the readers in guise of fiction.

This book is absolutely a must read.

Review Copy received from Leadstart Publishing

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