Monday, 17 October 2016

The American Indian Dream ( A book review)



Author- Pranay Sahu

Publishers- HALF BAKED BEANS; First edition (2016)

Pages- 210 pages

Genre- Literature and fiction 

Blurb- His life was his dream. From being a Wall Street Investment Banker to being a jobless put under spiritual arrest, to being hopelessly in love with a hippie ten years elder to becoming an entrepreneur , he lived his dreams throughout his life. Cut to 2012, destiny's favourite child is now controversy's favourite child. Come success, come controversy. Controversies are inevitable, one's reaction to them, is optional. Roshan should not have reacted. Four years since he lost his job, Roshan is now battling his life after multiple gun shots; defending his actions before a spiritual guru whom he does not like at all. But life is not always your choice. The difference between dreaming and making dreams come true is what life is all about.

Book Review- ‘The American Indian Dream’ is less of a novel belonging to the genre of fiction and more of an autobiographical narration by the author. It is a bit of a letdown, considering the backdrop chosen by the writer- America reeling under the attacks of 9/11. The book flatters to deceive.
As is evident from the blurb, the story follows the tumultuous life of Roshan. The narrative oscillates between two time zones; 2008-referred to as Dark India and 2013 which depicts the present day scenario as far as the protagonist is concerned.
Roshan is recovering from a near fatal gunshot injury and his past is revealed as you flip the pages, waiting for some drama to unfold. Sadly, it does not.
There are a variety of characters but they have been etched half-halfheartedly. Apart from Roshan, there are Jagat, Ira, Hirenbhai, Silvio, Ariella aka Lakshmi, Maera, Gurudev and his henchman Farhaan. The reader cannot empathise with any of these. The love affair between Roshan and Ariella seems convoluted.
The pace of the novel is languid and one tends to lose interest pretty early.
‘Why was Roshan shot at?’ remains a mystery till the end. The motive of the one pulling the trigger is not clearly explained.
The proof reading too, could have been better.
On the brighter side, the novel explores the mindset of Indian youth who are trapped by the lure of the ‘American dream’.  At a time when the anthem of the nation is ‘Make in India’, this story serves as an eye-opener.

Verdict- Un-tapped potential.

About the Author – Pranay Sahu is the classic case of an engineer turned MBA turned banker turned novelist. He is also an avid marathon runner, a stand-up comedian and a lonely traveler. Yes, he is either settling business for Corporations or travelling into his own world of stories or is out travelling alone talking to strangers at places like Pondicherry, Cochin or Diu. Having lived in places like Kota, Bhopal, Indore and Bangalore, Pranay now lives in Vadodara and divides his time between three cities, other two being Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

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