Wednesday, April 17, 2013

First Read: “Complete/Convenient” Ketan Bhagat’s Debut by!!!

If we talk about the newest generation of our country, we’d find that a majority of enthusiastic youth dream to settle down somewhere in abroad, even if for pursuing higher studies. Something about this idea never fails to excite the ambitious. But is this opinion well founded? Is it really a dream life out there? This is the idea that Ketan Bhagat’s novel Complete/Convenient deals with and takes you through the interesting journey of Kabir, the protagonist in the story.

By the way, for those wondering who is Ketan Bhagat? Let me introduce him. Ketan Bhagat is a typical 35 year old middle class common man living in Mumbai. And, he also happens to be the younger sibling of India’s one of the most successful writers, Chetan Bhagat.

About his book, Ketan has opined on the lines that he has been inspired by the real life incidents. The story is about a working chap turning his life to face an entirely new set of challenges when he gets transferred to Australia.

After a helter-skelter wedding, he happily leaves his past behind to make a leap into the direct future to enjoy the fruits of his assiduously earned promotion. It is realized in the following pages that the guy, who works in Satyamev at a salary of 10 lacs and scored 96% in Maths in tenth class, has achieved his dream. But the story is deeper than that.

All Kabir, the lead character of the story, could imagine was a kingly life with crazy new adventures and an awesome amount of time on beaches. He never foresaw that soon he would start missing his homeland. That soon he would find solace in the colonies of Indian culture and talk about the people back home with the people he’s surrounded by now.

Ketan has marvelously attempted to paint the reader’s imagination with the kind of endurance Kabir struggles to find in himself. The quick flash-forward in the opening chapters of the book gives a fair and prospective idea about how the story is going to turn, and that is exactly what the reader finds.

The book never swerves off the path to its main plot and quickly passes by all the pertinent story-building experiences Kabir has to go through. Ketan deftly avoids over description where unnecessary and lands on to bigger things in almost no time. The romance is sweet and the office war is bitter, kind of like how it always is!

One thing to notice is the enticing description of the city- Sydney. After reading the extracts I referred to Ketan’s profile again to learn that he has lived in Australia for four years himself, which is a fun fact I think should be widely known. The book is written in a sometimes serious but largely entertaining tone. The character sketches are almost all lively and easily relatable and the way they act hits home.
I think the book can be expected to steer clear above the doubtful interpretations of the various generations of reader and make Ketan an instant hit writer, but as it goes without saying, the public reaction is always difficult to predict. The book focuses a particular portion of the large audience but it might connect with all types of readers.

I’d been provided a review copy for pre-launch review of the book, but the release date is expected to be in May this year.

I recommend this as a must read for all those who think they can get away dreaming to get out of our fertile country without pausing to think, and good read for all those who think they can’t get away at all. In fact, go ahead and check this thing out, because it will teach you things you had never considered before. And also because it has the potential to be the next thing everyone is talking about!


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