Saturday, July 28, 2012


ISBN: 9789381626566
PRICE: Rs.199
MY RATINGS: 4 out of 5


Have you dreamt of long wide roads and you panting and yet running. Running hard, your eyes focused on to the curve ahead on the road that would again lead to many more milestones ahead that would finally give way to that glistening red line, symbolising the End of the race..The beginning of a new phase of and a smile comes across your lips and you give that last shot of adrenalin into your prowess. Just then something rushes past you and it takes a moment or two to actually form a picture- a moving image of something, rather someone running along, no not along, but running ahead. The moving object seems to be huffing too and slows down after some time, as the two of you head past milestones headstrong.You take a leap, determined to overtake and finally you reach to his pace, equalling. And as you look up at his face, the familiarity is striking!The same eyebrows, the energetic smile and the glistening eyes and the limping! Of course, the limping! The guy was limping and yet, he was at par with you and it strikes you- It is your brother. The brother who seemed like a failure within the twenty years of his existence. But how was he running? You were so sure he could not. And you were so sure that you never gave him that opportunity to even try running. He was now out of breath and his eyes weary. His body was thirsty- not to be quenched by water, but by a win.

His foot is bleeding, and he is profusely bleeding, and it is now clear that you can win. What do you do? Do you go ahead and win your success? Or do you encourage that handicapped but able brother of yours to go ahead ad win it for himself?

This is the crux of the story Shriram has beautifully penned for us to read. It is his debut but the finesse with which he has described emotions, and played with them along the characters is sensitive and heart rendering as well as happy, and enlightening. Call it a fiction if you please, but trust me, by the time you are through cover to cover, I can guarantee you'd feel like a "changed man" simply for the warmth the book fills you up with! No, I haven't given out the story yet! No there is no character who limps. But it is about having a differently abled brother. It is about a typical Indian family(though the segregation between the normal and the different is not exclusive of any country) where two brothers are seen differently simply because one is physically "normal" while the other isn't. It is about how that little physical flaw begins to sharpen differences and enters into the psyche of both the person and the people around.  

There were few things that seemed to be unfitting to the plot. Shalini, Saurav's girlfriend flees with him to Aunt Sheela's place and they don't go back even after their parent's insistence. Too much fictional, and contradicting to the sensitivity that Shalini otherwise had. Also the sudden change of heart of the Father, without any such striking incident seems to be surprising. A change of heart for a stubborn man happens after a tumult. But such a point of reference is not provided. Also a person as talented as Saurav was, it is also unfair how he gives away his career. Post the Olympics, Saurav should have ideally continued with his career like Raj had. 

Other than these minute points, I felt the story had a balanced speed and points of momentum. Moments of intimacy, sensitivity and actions.. are added to the book adequately. Too good an attempt for a first-timer. Well done Shriram!

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