This is my first review for a book written by an author who personally asked me to write a review for the same. Not that I am popular and all. :P Long time back, I had created a profile in Skillpages, a social network kinda thing like facebook. I had updated my skills as writing and blogging. Jobs would come often but nothing caught my eye until Mr.Hari Kumar had posted a 'job' requesting a review for his wonderful book.
Name: When Strangers Meet
Author: K. Hari Kumar
Genre: Drama (I would say)
I had ordered the book online and was eager to write review. Sure, you would get excited when people approach you to request a review from a blogger. And I thank the author for having written this novel.
Normally, I am a slow reader and try to picture the surroundings et al. I like to picture myself in the story. And this is my first Indian novel after Chetan Bhagat's The Three Mistakes of my Life (if you don't count the small Indian fables by Ruskin Bond :P).
As always, I am not going to reveal the story but I would tell it in short. The story revolves around three main characters - Jai, an arrogant teenager; Krishnaprasad Iyer - a 30 year old something Tamilian from Tuticorin and Hussain - a family man owing a tea stall. The story starts with the teenager Jai, running away from the house in frustration and Hussain coming to the railway station for collecting a lottery ticket in Delhi. This is where Jai meets both Iyer and Hussain. The story basically tells how Iyer's life story influences Jai's. I might not infuse the interest in you to read this book if you read the before line. But believe me, the book was a real entertaining and fast paced.
Also, I could relate to the novel very much as it talked about Madras and Rajinikanth at length. The book has a great slice of India and Tamilnadu. The way Iyer reminisces his life story is very happy. Here and there were a few laughs with tinges of romance sandwiched too. One hilarious and astonishing scene is when Iyer (a Brahmin) manages to retrieve a mutton chop from the biriyani at a muslim function.
The romance between Iyer and Padma (another character) was very cool and gentle. However the author's description of the same Padma over three to four times, in a very poetic and exaggerating way, did initimidate me a little, at times. Okay, I get that she is beautiful :P.
It was fun to read about Chennai in a novel (this is my first time). And the frequent usage of Tamil and Hindi slang words in the novel, could be both interesting and nit-picking at times.
What surprised me was the ending of the story and it was a complete twist. I personally like twists and I can say it is worth reading this novel for that twist. At the finish of the novel, I was very much satisfied with it and also happy about it.
The novel is a fast paced, light hearted and a little bit of sentimental drama. This, I would say a must read.
I am not going to give any rating as reviews for anything depends on that person's taste and perspectives.
But I think, most of you would like the book, especially since it is Indianish. :)