I believe a book or a movie works for me big time when I have zero expectations from it or mostly when I have no idea what to expect or the last thing that I have no background either as what they are based on. Also, after reading close to 200 books in last two years or a little more - I exactly know (at times) what to expect from an Author's Debut :). And let me say this with a pinch of salt - this book proved me so wrong. Thanks to Sriram himself that I finally got to lay my hands on a copy of his book as unfortunately it wasn't available in any book stores near my place and I had to get a paperback as had a golden opportunity to get it signed by him in person. As we met briefly last week and I was glad that he was carrying a couple of copies with himself. Although I wanted to read it before meeting him so I could talk to him on the book, story and its effects but I guess all that will have to wait for couple of weeks more till he is available to us again for a meet to answer my questions. I picked it up casually last night thinking that I will be able to stretch it up to the weekend (200 pages) but the pace was such that it had to end in bloody flat 24 hours as Jai's story is so intriguing that I had to know how it ended before I could hit my bed (I actually read it last night after my night shift too - just imagine) Finished it today.
We all read a lot of books now and then which give us all kinds of pleasures, some cheap thrills, some guilty pleasures but there are a very few books or stories which sort of show you a mirror or give you quite a good quantity of food for thought, this was one of those. Its written in such a simple yet intriguing way that it actually connected with me on a lot of counts. For example the way Jai the protagonist turns on a switch by pressing the protruding end of a switch by the tip of his finger making the "Click" sound and not by sliding down his finger on the switch :) that's a very small instance but thats exactly we were taught by our Dad and I would never be able to forget this ever. Special mention of case of sibling rivalry where the elder one has to make all the sacrifices. And there are so many instances like that in the story especially between the husband and wife, dealing with in-laws and all that it feels as if our own life is what we are reading in Jai's story. Moreover the challenges that he faces, the targets that he has, how he goes about trying his level best to fulfill them, the way his wife goes through her own job, challenges, household duties and all that. We all have the "Ravi's" in our lives like Jai has - the best friend :) - if you have read the book, you would know what I mean. Society troubles especially for tenants, I was like shocked to see so much reality and found it hilarious too at times on the mention of pesky neighbors who do come for the rescue too when needed. On top of that the story is actually taking place in a city that I live in so the geographical details too worked for me.
As I started reading and as the title suggests "Rain A Survivor's Tale" I initially thought I will be able to predict (may be certain things) but barring the Rain it is simply unpredictable. Moreover at times I wish I could actually help Jai in someway or may be that my thoughts connected with his or the Author's so he would do as I wanted him to do..... but to no avail. He does what he thinks is right, how he fights with his own dark past or the haunting memories refreshed by his dad's diaries is something kept me glued to the very end. I would say this is a perfect book for someone going on a long overnight train journey of sorts and needs to be finished in one shot. Totally good story and I will definitely look forward to his next whenever that is due now. And again my brain will start working on what to expect from him :) and would love to be proven wrong yet again.
Do read it guys and do let me know how you like it if you have already read it.
I will look forward now (eagerly) to meet Sriram again to answer some of the questions his book left unanswered.