Sunday, 3 April 2016

Book Review: Guy on the Sidewalk

Book: Guy on the Sidewalk
Author: Bharath Krishna
Publisher: Cinnamonteal Publishing
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 318
Price: 399 INR 

Blurb: Who am I, where do I belong and what am I meant for in this short life in this big world?

For Jay, life was a series of defensive detours until he gathered the strength to listen to his inner voice with honesty and decided to take life head on with fearlessness. Making the move from India to America was momentous. He sought to make something of himself, however, his yearning to live in his country and among his people never ceased to bother him. Over six years, despite the luxury of opportunities in the United States, he wondered, is this all there is? He left home to create a better life, but he could have never imagined that though his better life might be found in America, his best life might just be at home, in India.

My rating: 3.75/5

My review: 

Guy On The Sidewalk is a novel that cannot be categorized to one particular genre. You can't call it romantic, patriotic, thrilling or humorous after reading it. It is a book that tells the story of a confused guy called Jayawardhan who cannot figure out what exactly he wants to do in life. 

Yes, it's the story of many such people whom we see around us who are clueless about their life and their inner calling. However, instead of procrastinating, Jay is fearless enough to go with the flow of life. So after working in India for a few years, he moves to America for higher studies. 

He gets bewitched with America's lifestyle and ends up comparing each and everything of America with that of India. Though his plan was to study MBA in International Trade, he gets diverted to a different career path. His first few months in America were great, but he soon gets under debt and decides to clear all of his debts before moving to India. 

After surviving a patch of bad phase, he gets great opportunities and when he is climbing the ladder of success in America, he makes a firm decision to go back to his own country to that he can do something meaningful for his own people.

Why? Did any particular situation played the role of a catalyst to make Jay yearn for India? The answer is NO and I felt this is one of the drawbacks in the book. Readers won't understand why Jay wanted to leave everything in America and settle in India, when he was so much smitten with America's progressive lifestyle and culture. He returns to India without any plan, but a vague idea to do social work.

One of the best things in the book is its writing style. It is written in first person and readers can get a clear view of whatever is going on in Jay's mind. Despite the lack of twists and turns, readers would like to leaf through the pages of the book just to know where Jay's life is heading. Kudos to the author's narration. The book has a very few editing errors that can be missed.

Another thing in the book that appealed a lot to me is Jay and Siri's relationship that is not bound to the word marriage. They respect each other's decision and choices in life.

Here are a few quotes in the book depicting the relationship of Jay and Siri that I really liked:

"I guess some relationships don't cease to exist just because we cannot describe them. They remain beyond the capability of our understanding and the power of our vocabulary. Most of those relationships die when people try to define them instead of accepting and enjoying the mystery surrounding them."

"Talking to Siri was an ongoing thing for me, either I talked to her on phone or I talked to her within myself."

"In a world where masking has become the new original, finding someone whose presence makes us unmindfully original is a blessing and that was Siri to me.

The book also throws light on the way NRI thinks about India. Overall, the good narration makes the book a decent read. Considering the fact that it's the work of a debut author, I would like to say that the author has done a good job with his storytelling.

Recommended to both people who wants to settle in America and people who long to return to their own country. 

Buy the book here:

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  1. Nice review, Purba. The books sounds interesting.

  2. The story sounds about our every-day Jay..and the narration and author's stye perhaps differentiate it. Good review, Purba.

  3. बहुत बढ़िया, पूर्वा।

  4. बहुत बढ़िया, पूर्वा।

  5. A meaningful review, Purba. Liked the quotes :)

  6. I think it is very interesting because many people can relate to it. I like the story prologue,c an be a very interesting read :)

  7. A great review sweetie! The book seems quite interesting. Thanks for sharing! :)

  8. Lovely to see you have been reading these new Indian Authors. Are you aware of 'The Sunday Book Club' on Twitter?

  9. Good review. Writing in first person makes it easy for the reader to connect with the character.


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