A Coming-of-Age Tale with a Difference
by C. Sriram , , pp.,
August 2006, volume 30, No 8

One began with the premise, influenced purely by a perusal of the blurb, that this was one more novel about the coming-of-age of a slightly confused exemplar of urban youth today set amidst the ubiquitous urban landscape of contemporary Delhi. One presumed, therefore, that the novel would be about a slightly moony young man, being shunted around from job to job and love to love in search of existential bliss, and would be full of his ramblings in a booze or hash-induced state while walking the streets of the “unreal city”, in this case, Delhi. Interesting may be, but not without a sense of ennui, been there done that, too many novels of late of the same sort. These were some thoughts that immediately came to one’s mind on encountering the book superficially. While this evaluation may not have been altogether out of place – the protagonist is a rather precocious twenty-four year old, who is usually out of jobs, who does have a dysfunctional love life, and is disgusted with life, and, of course, there is Delhi, present as the unfailing backdrop – one cannot but marvel at the fact that upon a thorough reading, the novel, in spite of its formulaic predictability, does not evoke a sense of déja vu, but instead evokes a strange sense of freshness.

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