Sunday, 8 August, 2010

The Journey of Om- a book review


So this blog is finally getting an update and all credit goes to the writer Mr.Chandru Bhojwani who invited me to write a review for his book The Journey of Om... So here goes... :)

The Journey of Om is a book written by Chandru Bhojwani and before you conclude that it has some religious context, relax, Om is just the name of a guy and it his journey that we follow in this book.

Om is a New Yorker who has just discovered his girlfriend cheating on him with a guy to whom she got introduced through him, and has broken up with her, and the passionate lover in him finds himself broken too... What follows is the extremely difficult path to Recovery...

The protagonist is Om and some of his close friends are Mona, a 35- year old professional, single and his best friend; Arun who is another best friend; Rakhi who is Arun’s sweetheart, and Jim, his old buddy. The way the characters have been intertwined in the book, I liked the fact that as a book which is set in New York, LA and partly in Hong Kong, Chandru hasn’t ignored the people who live there, which I find is a problem with Bollywood movies... the good guys are always Indian and the foreigners are always the bad guys. Making people part if the background makes them a part of the setup, and not of the story... no such prejudice here, thankfully.

The book mainly focuses on relationships and I like the fact that Chandru gave Om the job of a writer cum columnist, something he himself is, which meant that he was able to cleverly incorporate things which weren’t a part of the central plot per se. The Desi Kryptonite can raise some eyebrows from the female readers though. The book is definitely all Indian, something most of the youngsters will identify with, and the language is simple.

The book has been narrated in a half flashback, half present scenario and sometimes the short length of the chapters frustrates you because you feel you’re jumping about from one scene to another. If you’re not an intense reader, used to such intensity, chances are you might lose track and as a result, interest.

The book has a lot of sexuality and complexities involved in it, which I why I feel it is definitely PG-16 material.

The ending is a little abrupt, though also fitting in a way, we Bollywood enthusiasts are so used to ‘and they lived happily ever after’ endings that some people may feel like something is missing. Though to me, in a sense it suggests that these ‘things’ are never-ending. By ‘things’ I mean emotions-the joy, the hatred, the anger, the pressure, the love, the insecurity, the lust, the et al which accompany life in relations and relationships.

Also, I feel that someone who has not been in Om’s or at least Mona’s shoes might not really be able to connect to it after a certain point, only someone who has either deeply loved and lost, or has seen someone close do that, will get the full blast of what happens to Om when he becomes an alcoholic. And guys will still be able to connect better than girls.

All in all, I won’t call it a must read for every body because this is one book that I think will be understood best by those who have been there, done that.