Beach boy is Ardashir Vakil's first novel and was nominated for Whitbread Prize for first remarkable novel and went on to win the Betty Trask Award whBeach boy is Ardashir Vakil's first novel and was nominated for Whitbread Prize for first remarkable novel and went on to win the Betty Trask Award which is also given for first novel by authors who are under 35 years of age and residing in a current or former commonwealth country.
It's a bildungsroman or coming -of-age story of protagonist Cyrus Readymoney, who's an 8 year old Parsi boy from Bombay. The Good old Bombay of 1970's,when the city's identity wasn't changed to the present day Mumbai, when the names of roads and streets were as old as city itself. Cyrus,the boy, grows all alone in his sea faced house on juhu beach as his parents are always on tours and business.He's a big movie buff and throngs to bombay's theaters to watch movies on his own,he talks about his love to watch movies in dark theaters amidst so many people all coming from several parts of the city,he describes the snacks and meals served in the theater.He's a big foodie and describes each and every dish that he has had with immaculate precision. While reading one can feel mouth watering with the delicacies that he's having or describing in the story.
The novel goes on to focus on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from childhood to adulthood in which the character of Cyrus changes from being an 8 year old to a 10 yr old boy. He's belongs to rich elite class of Parsi family and while his parents are absent or on business tours,he stays with his friends ,eats and sleeps with them at their houses. He keeps himself busy by visiting his neighbours,the Krishnans,the Vermas and the Maharani are some of his closest buddies.
He values his family time a lot,whenever he gets to share it with his parents and 4 other siblings named Behroz,Adi,Nasli and Shenaz.He tells us how he misses their company and how much the family vacations means to him.The neglect of his wealthy parents towards him and his childhood presents him with many opportunities to discover his life with his neighbours and friends and essentially it gives the story many colorful characters who are as wonderful and as diverse as the cosmopolitan populace of Bombay itself. At the start of the novel we have Mrs. Verma and her sons watching movie with Cyrus in a theater, Mrs. Verma in the story is known for her make-up and fake smiles,then there are The Krishnan's who have some sort of enmity towards Mr. and Mrs. Vermas and Mr. Krishnan himself is a very proud man and his family is very strict,disciplined and athletic,Then there is Bhagwan and Barua both are servants in their house,then we have an affluent Maharani and her seductive daughter with whom Cyrus does manage to have some sexual play, and lastly his brusque Aunty Zenobia, who's a very religious and strict person.
After a while we come to know that his parents have temporarily separated and her mother shifts to a different place in the city where his father sometimes comes to visit them(his wife and his 5 children).Here,Cyrus develops some kind of harshness in his attitude for his dad as he comes to know of his infidelity with his mom.Then,he goes to a vacation with Krishnan family and while vacationing comes to know about his Father's illness.He goes back to Bombay in the midst of his vacation and tries to remember the last time he had a talk with his dad or seen his face, his mind keeps repeating "that you won't be able to see your dad ever again"
He tries to keep away from such thoughts & premonitions but they keep coming back to him, haunting and teasing him away. Then his dad passes away,and then he realizes that he's a different person now,everyone starts behaving differently towards him, but he wants things to remain the same as if nothing had happened,the novel comes to an end with funeral ceremonies and he concentrates hard during those few days to understand the meaning of life and death. After his dad's loss, young Cyrus is upset over not being able to roam freely,discover new things,roam here and there aimlessly as a vagabond, as he used to do earlier. His aunt Zenobia keeps him under her strict control and tries to curb his impish spirit unknowingly.
In the end,Cyrus learns ,what the death of his father means to him and his family through descriptions of his elder brother Behroz and his servant Bhagwan about his father who left something or the other for each and everyone in the family,he realizes the importance of life and is not the same individual as he was at the beginning of the story.His sobered adolescence comes from his father's death and his reflections on life and death while he was at the fire temple attending to his dad's funeral ceremonies.The emotions in him have changed and he now starts viewing himself as a responsible person,he starts experiencing the loss which earlier didn't bothered him much,he now knows what it means to have a family and how much parents contribute to a child's development. ...more
“Desire is an unknowable thing” and some obstinate desires, which are seethed deep inside our body and mind , those which are unexpressed untouched de“Desire is an unknowable thing” and some obstinate desires, which are seethed deep inside our body and mind , those which are unexpressed untouched desires, that with the passage of time become tenacious for body and mind. This story is based on the loneliness of a wife,her unfulfilled desires, on the lack of attention , she tries to seek from her husband but in vain, story of a husband who loves his wife in his own inexpressive way, believing that even though he knows of her infidelity with him,she will one day return to him, and he’ll accept her knowing everything, because he believes that a man no matter how much suspicion he has over his wife,no matter how many proofs are there against his wife, he has to save her honour in any situation,this is what is expected from a husband, no matter however hard it gets for him. That’s why desire is said to be unknowable thing , its like a sweet poison, if not controlled , it erodes your personal behavior(nature and character) slowly and gradually,decaying the good qualities of a human being, making him/her into someone he/she never was,creating a cloud of confusion and misconceptions,frustration,anger,fear in his/her mind,thus this desire will slowly devour your own personal relationships, and the good times associated with it , everything will seem distasteful be it conversations , affection , care , concern with/for your husband/wife. As it’s said that body is the component of love, and without it, sustenance of love is almost impossible. This novel clearly identifies this & also the other fears and misunderstandings that start dwelling in us when we don’t have right going in our relationship, it gives a very practical insight on human mind and its behavior when such a thing is happening in an individual’s life, it was a pleasure reading this one for the sake of developing a better understanding and avoid such situations and confrontations in future. ...more
It's a tragic love story of a lovely couple,read it just to shift my focus from heavy literary fiction.It's a very light & enjoyable read, capableIt's a tragic love story of a lovely couple,read it just to shift my focus from heavy literary fiction.It's a very light & enjoyable read, capable of relieving from literary fiction for a while....more
The plot is all the same including love,sex,infidelity,and a lot of drama.I think that something was really missing in the plot and the novel never stThe plot is all the same including love,sex,infidelity,and a lot of drama.I think that something was really missing in the plot and the novel never started the way i anticipated it to be,it's based on Bollywood, lifestyle of people working in it and the hassles they have to face in bollywood like casting couch etc.Read it if you like some light reading and it'll seriously not appeal to people who like reading indian literary fiction.
“Women are of two kinds, the mother - kind and the beloved – kind -- so I have heard some learned men say. If a comparison may be drawn with the seaso“Women are of two kinds, the mother - kind and the beloved – kind -- so I have heard some learned men say. If a comparison may be drawn with the seasons, the mother is the rainy season. She brings the gift of water and of fruit, tempers the heat, and dissolving from the heights drives away the drought. She fills with plenty. The beloved , on the other hands, is the spring. Deep its mystery, sweet its enchantment. Its restlessness rocks the blood into waves and swings over into jewel chamber of the mind where the solitary string of the golden vina(musical intrument) is lying mute, waiting for the vibration to set the body and the mind ringing in some wordless melody.”
With these beautiful lines,the novel begins. Written by the Nobel Prize Winner Rabindranath Tagore ,its idea is based on the fact that when a married man does not find a mother figure and a sweetheart in the same person , an eternal conflict arises in him, his heart is torn asunder. He needs the former(mother-kind) to draw strength from that nature of a woman’s character but he also needs and desires the later (beloved-kind) for inspiration and support that a woman provides to a man. If these two do not meet in the same individual his life wrecks apart making him confused and solitary. The plot of the novel is very intriguing , and as a reader I felt awed by the way novel is written, delighting the reader with its phrases and narrations. Central character is Sasanka whose life is influenced by his wife Sarmila so much so that for each of his personal comforts , his wife takes special care in everything so that he doesn’t have any grievances and her only aim is to see him happy . He’s a man governed by his wife and like a mother she cares for him and as a kid he responds to her. She loves him a lot but is way to inexpressive to tell him about her love for him.So,he misses the beloved - kind nature of Sarmila, which she’s unable to explain it to him through words,but he reveres her for deep caring nature of hers. Sarmila’s younger sister Urmimala is way too naïve & juvenile as compared to her sister. This difference of character is what is missing in Sarmila,which she knows but considers it as unimportant and this is what story is all about.
Mind you,that if you’re thinking that there will be a conflict between these two sisters,think again…… The Title of the novel is “Two sisters” and that is what makes it a completely different read then what we humans might think of it. Rabindranath Tagore whose known as myriad minded person,has compiled a story of truly great class,in simple and authentic words which falls in line with the Title,I loved the story for its plot and the way the story was carved out of it and the climax was also very special as it turned out to be an unexpected one. :):)
Some phrases & narrations that i liked from this novel
"what a pity!" wailed sarmila. "Even in love men cannot wholly lose themselves.A portion of themselves they need must set apart for the exercise of their masculine ego"
"Alcohol taken once has to be taken again to drown the regret of drinking."
"Only a male can be so clumsy in his infatuation as not to notice that his wife could plainly see through the motive of his frequent visits"
I remember i took this book because of its title "i too had a love story" it reminded me of something and a comment overhead by Infosys chairman NayarI remember i took this book because of its title "i too had a love story" it reminded me of something and a comment overhead by Infosys chairman Nayaran murthy caught my eye.So, i decided it to read and got caught in the whirlwind of emotions like feeling of first date,first love, first meeting,everything is written in such a simple language it touched my heart with its simplicity,when i came to know that it's a real story of Ravin short for Ravindra,i felt very disappointed & upset on his loss of love, the emotions he must have gone through,the way it all happened and how it must be to lose a person one loves like that.There are some very beautiful moments a reader recognizes while reading this novel,even i too felt like it was my own story,that's why i said that it was the novel's simplicity that took me by awe.It has a tragic end and that too a bizarre one,never to be expected of,and that's why its very special to me,these love stories can never ever die,they are meant to live forever.
The way author has put his soul into this novel rightly justifies his love for khushi(his lost love)and what it meant for him to be in love, like everyone else i too expected it to be happy ending but then it just took me away by a shocker,felt too depressed about the loss of this young author's love and life.
The story is really very touching and painful and i could feel the emotions running through my mind and heart ,i was even able to relate myself to the emotions author describes herein.One can only understand this true account of love story only when one has deeply and truly loved someone and then lost it...like it was never his/her. ...more
A timepass read. Love story of two people working in a call center,its the second novel by chetan bhagat and i read it a long time back in 2006,the stA timepass read. Love story of two people working in a call center,its the second novel by chetan bhagat and i read it a long time back in 2006,the story is based in delhi,gurgaon and its suburbs & the story starts with the narrator of the story being already separated by his lover and at the end of the story they are back again together.Its a quick read and funny at times with quick display of love,jealousy, hatred,love making,etc.Fun to read but climax is uninteresting,overall its good....more
A quick book read it was...full of taunts and tantrums from a mother-in-law to his daughter-in-law.Again based on many relationships,this novel revolvA quick book read it was...full of taunts and tantrums from a mother-in-law to his daughter-in-law.Again based on many relationships,this novel revolves around Bangalore and New York. Sudha murthy greatly expresses the sorrows and griefs of indian housewives at the hands of their mother-in-laws and how they throw tantrums and how these young ladies bear it with all their bit....more
My most precious read about Indian culture and heritage by the famous poet and writer Rabindranath Tagore. In this novel there are many ups and downs,tMy most precious read about Indian culture and heritage by the famous poet and writer Rabindranath Tagore. In this novel there are many ups and downs,the story is about a bengali family settled in calcutta. And the author describes that how the power of passion and desires can shake any relation from its roots and how a man becomes a slave of his own desires which he's not being able to overcome despite wanting to concentrate on his wife and family.This is a novel about desires,passions,unfulfilled dreams,relationships and at last honesty,truthfulness and responsibilities.Its a must read for anyone who's wanting to read on human relations. ...more
The alchemy of desire literally means the chemistry of desire...this is my favorite novel on love,loss,desire and truth.I read it when it was releasedThe alchemy of desire literally means the chemistry of desire...this is my favorite novel on love,loss,desire and truth.I read it when it was released in 2006 but then at that time i couldn't go through it well...so read it again this time....and it was a pleasurable experience rereading this novel.Although its an epic novel and that too a literary fiction so it takes time to read but the way author takes you onto his quest of life,love,desire,loss and at last the profound truth he seeks and gets at the end of his novel.Author Tarun Tejpal has a very strong creative eye,he keeps the readers linked to his artistic work of passion,love and desire.His way of writing is very alluring,enigmatic & at the same time it can be disturbing too.It's a must read for those who want to know difference and distinction between love and lust,passion and desire.This artistic work of fiction will you take you in an ecstatic state and leave you mesmerised.The Alchemy of DesireTarun J. Tejpal...more
This book was published in 2004, i read it around 2005.It was my first ever Indian author i read, before this i only read sidney sheldon,so while expeThis book was published in 2004, i read it around 2005.It was my first ever Indian author i read, before this i only read sidney sheldon,so while experimenting and trying to find something else to read,i got this one and i remember very well,that i enjoyed this novel alot for it was way too funnier,hilarious and the narrations were simple and very realistic with respect to what happens in Indian Institute of Technology(IIT)in reality.Like ragging on first day,etc.
Those days i was also preparing for my engineering entrance examinations and preferably the IIT's,India's prime institution for technical studies and this was what it made me more close to this novel and it always remained special to me.
The tagline also caught my eye-"what not to do at IIT's"
This tagline is rightly justified in whole novel that whatever you do... do with your own wish and don't just force yourself into something you don't wish to do.
This novels works on three major themes like friendship is forever, love never fails & college life.The tension for grades and marks,submissions, results,the trauma of not being able to secure a job through campus placements while your friends do secure it.
It's a novel if understood deeply teaches many things about love,friendship and life. ...more