November 10, 2011

I' m Not Twenty Four by Sachin Garg - A Book Review




The prologue to I’ m not Twenty Four…  states – There are two types of stories. One, where you sit up and say ‘this is so me.’ Second, when a story takes you to a world you would hardly believe actually exists. This story is the latter.  I'm Not Twenty-Four..  really is the latter type of story!

I'm Not Twenty-Four…  is a story of Saumya, a Delhi girl who loves shopping, coffee shops and everything chic. She is beautiful and has an impeccable fashion sense. She is an MDI graduate who gets placed in a leading steel manufacturing company and who then dreams of taking her glitzy corporate office by storm. Only she doesn’t land up in a glitzy corporate office in Delhi or Mumbai but in a small village of Karnataka called Toranagallu. This is where the story starts. How Saumya copes up with life in Toranagallu, be it the food, the letching locals, the hazards of working in a steel plant, the lack of company and the search for love is what the book is all about.


The story starts with Saumya and the day of placement in MDI, Gurgaon - her MBA school. She gets placed in a leading steel company and Saumya feels that now her life would be a smooth sail. However, Saumya being a gender neutral name, is taken to be a male candidate by the HR team and lands up getting posted at Toranagallu – a village in Karnataka. Author – Sachin Garg, has completed his management from MDI Gurgaon and has lived in Toranagallu hence he has described both places quite vividly. Saumya being from the north, and that too from a metro feels completely out of place in a village in Karnataka. For company, she has a nerdy classmate who got placed in the same company – Amit and a hep but heavily accented Kannada guy – Malappa who also joins the company with herself and Amit. Later on a trip to Hampi, they run into Shubhro, who adds to the love equation of the story. The prologue reminds one of ‘One Night at the Call Centre’ somewhat, where the author is narrated the story by a girl during a journey. However, it is quite a different tale altogether with its own twists and turns.


You would enjoy the book a lot if you like the kind of books written by Chetan Bhagat. I did not find it exceptionally great and it got a bit over the top for me at times but it’s definitely intriguing and has a lot of twists that keep you hooked from beginning to the end. I did feel that the author was not successful at writing the book from a completely girl point of view. I mean you could make out its written by a male, maybe it was the way he depicted sex, or showcased her fixation with shopping and heels.. I am not completely sure but I did not get that written by a female feeling. I also found around 5 typos in the book but they are not that annoying and one doesn’t really lose the flow of the story due to them.


 The book explores several angles – the north-south food angle, the metro vs. small town angle and bad bosses at the workplace angle.  However, what makes the book come shining through are:-


  • The growth of Saumya – how she transforms from a city girl with materialistic zeal into a character with great strength who overcomes several obstacles and moves forward.
  • Shubhro and the Impact he has on the People of Toranagallu and Saumya – One discovers that Shubhro is not a nomad without a purpose. He brings positive change by unconventional means and inspires Saumya to take the untrodden path too.
    On the whole, I’ m not Twenty Four… is a light read and a coming of age story where we see how Saumya transforms and also finds love. At 100 rupees with an attractive book cover, I’ m not Twenty Four.. is quite a good deal. I recommend reading it when you are down with the hassles of life and feel that nothing is going to work out for you. 

    You never know you might feel inspired!




     

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