Monday, June 15, 2009

The Backseat

I never do book reviews, merely because I never read book reviews. I hate it when people segment books by genre. Or typecast books by sad, mad, bad or ugly. For that matter, I don’t like flashy covers either. They make me want to keep the book down and switch it. I like stories not described before, or a book without it’s back page filled by words “thrilling”, “enticing”, “extra-ordinaire”,”masterpiece” et cetera, for really do they really think my choice is in-sync with the columnist of The Suntimes? I like books with aged yellow pages and that lost smell of handmade papers. So lovely.

Anyhoodle, this isn’t about me this is about Aditya and his book. The Backseat. It’s the perfect book for the Mumbai Monsoon. You know those books which keep you engrossed on those rainy days ... curled up in a blanket. Nikita’s story is, well, really for her to tell. But as for Aditya, you can tell by reading it’s a film-maker writing the story. There are ups and downs and quick recoveries, it’s not those typical books (read: all books) when the tragedy goes so excruciatingly slow you almost suffocate in the pain, and if you’re like me, skillfully skip pages. This can be cast into a movie, or made a sequel of (off the point: Aditya, you did think of a sequel right?) (devilish smile).

What I loved about this book is Aditya’s way of storytelling. His little stories, which seem disjointed, come together in the end, tactfully. Moreover, his writing has a visual sense to it which I have rarely come across. It’s been sometime since I’ve read the book and I can still so vividly remember the portrayal of the little girl, the Ganpati Visarjan and her father at the beach. Although, to me it seemed at the end, there were a few strings un-sewn and some emotions undealt with, but then again, he shows what he wants to show, it’s his story and it’s only fair that he leaves us asking for more.

It’s a simple read and a no-frills book. Anyone who likes chick-lit, inter-cultural portrayal, Mumbai, drama, storytelling, storyreading, bonding, hope and Aditya would love it. I enjoyed it. Give it a shot!

PS: Thank you for the nice note on the book, Aditya. And Manish, Thankyou for bringing it to me.