Sunday 14 August 2016

The story of a suicide - A review

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The story of a suicide is a tale of 4 lives, their journey amidst a flurry of emotional turmoil, and the repercussions of their actions, which forces one of them to call an end to his/her journey of life. It all begins with a bit of a backstory of two of the main characters, Sam and Hari, and offers us an insight into some of the people in their lives, their respective emotional states, and their starkly contrasting backgrounds. They are both enrolled into a prestigious institution which they are due to attend shortly. On the very first day of college, an unprecedented incident gets Sam acquainted with Charu and Mani, the former a rather attractive senior, and the latter, Charu's dear friend emotionally free falling due to the burden of expectations, and his failure to fulfill them. Sam and Charu immediately hit it off and Sam is head-over-heels for the strong, blatantly honest, and a rather quirky Charu. But the closer he gets to her, the quirkiness of Charu confuses him more and more and unveils a certain mysterious side of her. Meanwhile, Hari and Mani find solace in one another due to their dark pasts which has left a deep scar in both their lives. But it is not all rosy and joyous, as things take a turn for the worse for all of them.  All of it leads to a whirlwind of emotions and forces them to make choices out of anger, sorrow, deceit and passion.

The story is clearly aimed at the younger generation, who undergo similar bouts of extreme emotional turmoil, and the story definitely succeeds in certain aspects. The characters are very relatable to a common Indian middle class person, just out of school, and aspiring to do something big in life. Some of us might have had similar dark pasts, or know people who have had a traumatizing childhood, so we automatically tend to sympathise with Hari’s or even Mani’s childhood struggles. My favourite character by far is Charu’s though, who comes across as a strong, independent and a smart woman. She is quite unconventional in many ways, especially with her views, but not many can question her logic. Even though she is disliked by most, she is unperturbed and refuses to change, which shows a lot of confidence and defiance in a person. Sam’s character is a little less justifiable, but anyone could have made the choices he made. In addition to all this, the topic of homosexuality was brought up in the story, which is sadly still a taboo in our society. But I salute the author for having the courage to address this issue head-on and I am positive that the current brigade of the younger generation will be more open to the idea of homosexuality.

Even though the book delivers in many ways, there could have been a few improvements to it too. I feel the backstory of the characters could have been a little more descriptive, especially Charu’s. Even Sam’s perspective of his actions justifying his actions could have been an interesting addition to the story. Another aspect which seemed a little incomplete to me is the climax. I feel the build-up could have been a lot more descriptive. Also, delving deep inside the mind of the person just before he/she is attempting a suicide would have added an extra dimension to the storyline.

Rounding up, I liked the story in bits and parts, but it surely was an easy, quick read. The language is not complicated or intimidating, but quite fluid and simple, which is perfect for the target audience. I read it all in one go, probably 3-4 hours, and I wasn’t feeling any kind of a compulsion to keep going; it all went by nice and easy. I will definitely recommend this book to the 18-25 age bracket, as they will relate to it the most. On an added note, I like the illustrations too, which goes hand in hand with the storyline. 
Everyone has certain key points by which they judge a book. I like to rate it based on a book’s storyline, character development, the quality of writing and the climax on a scale of 0-5.

Storyline - 3.5/5
Character development - 3/5
Writing - 3/5
Climax - 2.5/5

Overall - 3/5

For those curious to read this intriguing story, follow the link provided below.