Saturday, September 7, 2019

Czars of the East by Dr. Kisholoy Roy (Book Review: 3.75*/5) !!!

There are times when you get influenced by one author or genre particularly and you start reading books of the author or genre back to back. This is what has happened with me when it is about books written by Dr. Kisholoy Roy on the genre of Cricket. I recently completed the book written by him with the title “Czars of the East” which is around 90 pages and talks about two Indian Cricketers who ended up becoming Captain of Indian Cricket Team and transformed the game the way it was never played before- Sourav Ganguly known as “Dada” and Mahendra Singh Dhoni known as “Mahi”.

It is great to find a book which is a dedicated tribute to these two artists who played Cricket and led the team not only like an extraordinary sports player but as a painter who draws sketches line by line gradually giving it the shape of a complete portrait. The book covers the 1st half discussing about Dada and the 2nd half about Mahi.

The book is divided into different chapters on both the players in a specified format such as The Formative Years (where the author discusses on how they got interested in Cricket and entered the game), Marriage and After (about how they found and met with their better half, got married and little life after that), On Top of the Game (this is where author discusses about their best innings which made them into legends and helped Indian team win difficult matches), Brand Endorsements (how much they earn with their brand collaborations and how popular they are with brands and marketing guys), Miscellaneously Yours (this is where the awards and accolades they have won are discussed along with a summary on their Cricketing life), Statistically Yours (the whole statistics are mentioned in the tabular format the way it is in all the biographies/autobiographies of sportsmen) followed by a Picture Gallery dedicated to each of these two czars of Indian cricket.

I liked how author has been able to collate their whole life together in the book considering that he is not a Sports journalist or Manager of these Superstar players. The research and observation that he must have carried out for this book tells the hard efforts of the author behind this compilation. The language used in making their life understandable to us along with their leadership, management and innovative qualities is very easy to understand and what helps you to complete this book in a single sitting of around 1.5-2 hours. The similarities between both the players are also mentioned in the initial chapter of the book which is very interesting to read. This is not a critical account on these players hence if you are fan of these two players, you shall enjoy the chapters more as author has literally treated them like Czars in the book as mentioned in the title.

Talking about the drawbacks of the book, I would say author should have also included the controversies these players were involved in and his take on them if he felt they were right or wrong. Similarly, I personally felt that very little summarization has been given on their Cricketing life which a Cricket lover for me doesn’t get satisfied with- we like reading detailed account on such personalities, insights etc. Also, there’s a small suggestion I would say and not a drawback- author could have also added quotes said by these players in their match-closing ceremonies as Captain gets to speak in every match and sometimes they end up giving very wonderful insights on leadership, motivation, management etc. and the testimonials spoken by other contemporary players on these stars which gives more prominence to these personalities as this book can also be picked by a reader who is not of this century at all hence he/she would seek validation how big/average/small these players were 50-100 years back.

Overall, this is a very feel-good book on these two loved stars of India- Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni and if you have been following Cricket from last 10-20 years, you will enjoy reading about these modern-day Cricket transformers. I give this book 3.75* out of 5.




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