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.

20 comments:

The Bald Guy said...

How do we get hold of a copy to read it?

I'll try 2 be truthful said...

honest!

I'll try 2 be truthful said...

btw nice warm template :)

Firebolt said...

Interesting..

Worth a try :)
Good you updated your blog, dear!

Anonymous said...

Once I started reading it, I just didn't want to stop. It's a fascinating novel filled with humour, romance, human relationships, memories of ones childhood & the simple things that made one happy. I absolutely loved the mind of Om, the detailed description of his thoughts, his advises he gives whilst on his recovery period & the description of aunties was hilarious. Then there is the letter he writes to the non existent that would thaw the coldest of hearts.

Not to forget Jim's sense of humour & Mona's true friendship traits. The pain the parents go through to find the right partner for their daughters & girls to find their soul mates. Could relate to the novel so much, something for everybody. A very well written novel and not to forget the Sindhi words used which were hilarious.

Hope we get to watch a movie, would do really well. - Aarti M

Amit Butani said...

Chandru Bhojwani's debut novel is well written, witty, charming & thoroughly enjoyable.

Although the main plot of the novel is focused on the main character Om, it is the difficulties facing his closest friends that really adds substance to this novel. At first glance, it seems like another story of love lost and heart break; however there is more to the story than that.

The interaction between Om and his friends is very entertaining and the author has done well to keep the book moving along despite the trials and tribulations facing a number of the characters. The settings are well described and easy for any reader to imagine themselves as part of the scene.

The Journey of Om, while at times tragic, is a captivating novel. The author does a wonderful job of mixing tragedy with wit & humour.

A very impressive debut novel and certainly looking forward to the next book

Kiran Chamkani said...

An amazing book! It drew me in from the outset. Eloquently written and as intended the characters were easy to relate to.

Sabeena L said...

The Journey of Om really grabbed me and I couldn't put it down until
it was finished! With great attention to detail, it has a blend of
intrigue, humour and romance in a neat package. The story was truly
entertaining from beginning to end, and without reservation, I
heartily recommend this book.

Kalpana said...

Finally stumbled upon a gem of a debut book written by a young author of Indian origin, Chandru Bhojwani. I bought the kindle version of The Journey of Om and wanted to read it during my journey while I was traveling recently. The book turned out to be such a good read that I finished reading it before I boarded the plane.

This is a story of Om. Om finds his girlfriend Preeti in an intimate moment with Ravi, one of their common friends. The incident makes his heart break into a million pieces and the journey of healing begins. The world of complicated human relations is told with such ease that it does not feel like there was effort put into thinking about the plot. The story is deep and intricate and leaves the reader empathizing with its characters. There is something about the book that made me feel I knew every one of the characters. Chandru brilliantly blends emotion and humor and makes daily life so real that it is hard to believe that it is a story that is being told. The pace is so exciting that I forgot that it was time to check in my baggage and get my boarding pass.

If you have aspirations of writing a story yourself, I would say start with reading this book. It is a perfect example of how various elements of writing should be blended to make a gripping story. I would give it a complete 5 on 5. An absolute must read.

Anonymous said...

Read it (twice in 2 days) LUV'D IT ! Connected with the protagonist and his friends on a deeper level. Bhojwani had a way of making the reader feel as entangled in the plot at Om himself.

A truly enjoyable read - from cover to cover.

Oh, and by the way, haven't been there, haven't done that and loved the book anyway.

SoniaV23 said...

What an amazing experience. This was a 5 of 5 for me - I really felt for OM. Hard to imagine that mere words would envoke such emotion for the reader but Chandru Bhojwani did an amazing job doing just that. Pathos is an art and he seems to have mastered it !

The columns written by Om in the book were both poignant and witty, not to forget accurate, making me laugh out loud !

Kudos to Bhojwani - looking forward to more !!!

Mads said...

ok i suck but i always like to read the book and then read reviews :|
but seeing a v positive reaction from the comments, i must buy it !! :)
congrats again :) :*

Mads said...

ok i suck but i always like to read the book and then read reviews :|
but seeing a v positive reaction from the comments, i must buy it !! :)
congrats again :) :*

Amt Ganglani said...

The Journey of Om spares nothing in its description of the raw emotion experienced at the end of a relationship. I found myself exclaiming "exactly!" throughout. Chandrus informal writing style makes the book and all its characters approachable creating a realistic forum to understand the most basic human emotions: hurt and hope.

Deepa Asnani said...

If there is a simple, yet compelling way to tell a story about complex human relationships, this is it. Through effective narration of every day life events, 'The Journey of Om' unfolds an intricate plot and a powerful world of emotions so effortlessly, it feels unintentional.

The gentle pace and build of the story is delectable. The authors' ability to empathise is contagious and makes 'The Journey of Om' essentially everyone’s story.

With so much to relate to, you’ll be excited about the next chapter before the one you’re on ends.

Resham Gupta said...

After reading many of his short stories and articles,I became permanently hooked on author, Chandru Bhojwani. Having waited for sometime for his first book Journey of Om, I was thrilled to get my hands on it and start reading!
JOM is a book for all tastes, this novel contains humour, mystery, intrigue and romance in a neat package. The author has created word images so vivid that it is almost like watching a movie and I strongly feel that the plot of JOM would be perfect for a movie. After having read the book I find myself completely involved with the characters, amazed at how each of the characters' lives is strangely entwined with the others' and how they evolve and blend into the flow of the main plot. One can't help but fall in love with the ever so sweet and affectionate Mona.
JOM really grabbed me and I read until it was finished, couldn't put it down. I loved it and am eagerly waiting for it's sequel!!
JOM is a delight to read. One can only hope that from a writer of this talent, there will be many more books to come!!

Usha Giani said...

The Journey of Om....The debut novel of Chandru Bhojwani, is an interesting read from page one.His style of narration...laced with witticism and humor, even whilst tackling tragic situations, keep you glued to the book till the last page.The plot may be an old one, and one which has been talked about and written about since Adam's day...but the way The Journey of Om unfolds is absolutely new...every single step of the journey is interesting.The quips and the expressions are such that you would want to remember and store them in your memory bank, to be used later!
The author's description of The Aunties and The Uncles is a piece of great and realistic observation!! At the same time...IT IS EXTREMELY HILARIOUS!
I did not have to pause and ponder before putting all my SINDHI friends(which are quite a few) into one or the other "slot"...they all fitted so snugly in their respective slots!

In the end...I'd like to say..
The Journey of Om is every bit of what the others have written about it before me! Its a "must" read,

pachuvachuva said...

As I am not Indian nor have any close friends who are, so I was a bit hesitant when Mr. Bhojwani asked me to review The Journey of Om. However, the book erased all my fears. Rather than alienating anyone, the prose actually draws you in. I enjoyed the book a lot. There were some very funny and memorable scenes, too.

For the complete review, you may visit my blog:
http://pachuvachuva.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/the-journey-of-om/

And oh,really nice layout. Like it a lot. And by the way, I'm a Filipino. :)

Aarti Bellara said...

The usual fictional romance novel is anything but novel, usually framed around a female jilted lover and the glorified process she takes post break up, indulging in blind dates, shopping sprees, and pseudo-therapy- junk- food- binge sessions with her girl friends, who undoubtedly agree that she was completely blame free, and that the one who once could make her smile so bright she radiated, is now the scum that festers on top of bacteria. Although read by many, these books are far from earning any literary awards and are often referred to as 'chic-lets". I was pleasantly surprised within the first few pages of The Journey of Om to find out the" jilted lover" was male, and every page thereafter was full of wit, voice, and imagery. Chandru Bhojwani successfully took the predictable and trite harlequin love story and crafted a fine work of literature.
Many escape from reality and turn to books and movies that portray a world where at pivotal moments, the music will slowly begin, and the characters are off in a carefree universe full of singing and dancing. The Journey of Om provides a story to surely warm even the coldest hearts and allow readers to temporarily case aside his or her own personal burdens and embark on a journey with Om and Company.
The Journey of Om is not a fairytale; in fact it depicts the workings of the human heart and the cyclical nature of life and karma quite accurately. The story focuses on Om, an Indian writer in NYC, who is heartbroken upon learning that the love of his life has been unfaithful to him. His "journey" through this emotional time, is far from the Hollywood, or rather, Bollywood glamour. In fact, Bhojwani does anything but glorify the healing process. Om, like everyone who has been hurt by love, turns to his nearest and dearest friends, Arun and Mona in his time of emotional need, who tirelessly try to cheer him up daily, yet their lives do not halt in the wake of Om's heartache. While feeling sad and depressed over the loss of love, Om must smile at the thought of Mona, his long-time best friend and namesake cousin, finding her soul mate. Being the victim of adultery, Om is conflicted when his partner in crime, Arun, commits an intoxicated indiscretion himself. Bhojwani does not simply create a story where we can relate to the main character, "the jilted lover" but expands the plot to include the joy, sorrow, and complications of those in Om's life, and how although acutely aware of Om's personal emotional state, still rely on his support and friendship as well.
To describe The Journey of Om simply as a love story, or romance novel would not do justice to its literary brilliance. Bhojwani incorporates subtle references to the South Asian culture, adding an extra element of uniqueness and potentially paves a path infusing East Indian culture into the Western World, striking a clear and poignant balance between fantasy and reality. The Journey of Om is a must read page -turner not only for the young East Indian adult population, but for all.

bibhash k jha said...

its crap .