Arnab Ray (or Greatbong as he is known through his blog) is one of the most famous Indian bloggers. He is also a published writer withYatrik being his third book after May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss and The Mine. While I haven’t read his previous two books, I have heard a lot many good things about them and therefore decided to pick Yatrik without a doubt in my mind. Does it work? Let’s check it out.
The blurb goes like this –
Anushtup Chatterjee, I am really sorry to have to tell you this. But you have died.
Anushtup Chatterjee is thirty-two years old. He hates his mother. His job is a dead end. And his girlfriend has left him.
Then one silent moonlit night, he wakes up in a deserted field in the middle of nowhere, with no recollection of where he is or how he got there. His wallet is gone. So is his cell phone.
He is not alone though.
There is another man there, a stranger with a gentle voice and a humble mustache, who has something rather unbelievable to say to him.
That he, Anushtup Chatterjee, has already died. Mysterious and achingly poignant, Arnab Ray’s Yatrik is a story about hope and aspiration, love and regret, of the choices we make and those that life makes for us.
The book has an interesting cover design signifying the journey of one man to discover his past and the way he landed up in the situation he did. The font text and the quality of the pages is done pretty well as expected from the guys at Westland Books.
Arnab has come up with quite an interesting concept of a man who finds that he is dead one fine day. And only when he reaches a destination does a person make him realize the same. The way he revisits his past and understands how various events shaped up his life and journey throughout form the crux of the story.
The narrative is pacy throughout. Whether its mystery, drama or emotions, Arnab has beautifully used all these and more to weave a beautiful story across 300 pages. He paints an impressive picture of Kolkata from the 1980s to the present day covering various aspects like the Durga Puja, police brutalities during Communist Rule etc.
This is a book which makes you think and introspect on what you have done all these years in your life and how your decisions have affected your near and dear ones.
The characterization whether its Anushtup, his family members or the man on the bench has been done quite well.
The only negative I felt was that the politics angle got too much importance somewhere in the overall scheme of things. Though this may not a be a problem for many, in my opinion it could have done with better editing.
All in all, if you are one for some good reading with a different concept and interesting characters, go for this one. You won’t be disappointed!
Rating – 4/5