Tublu by Jahid Akthar - Book Review

In every sphere of human activity, be it arts, science, politics or business there comes a time when it is freed from the shackles of the elite and made commonly available to the masses. As far as English literature for the Indian masses is concerned, Chetan Bhagat may be considered the great emancipator. The popularity of his works has spawned a whole generation of Indian writers who write on simple day to day themes that everyone can relate to in a kind of language that is commonly used by majority of Indians. The books have broken the myth that in order to write books, one has to be very proficient in a language, do lot of research on various topics, be highly imaginative, have a deeper understanding of human behavior and other similar things. These books have increased the general readership for English books in India as well as encouraged hordes of people to take up writing.  

Tublu by Jahid Akthar is one of the latest in the above genre of books.. The book tells the tale of a simple village boy who comes to the city with his father and his experiences in various aspects of life as he grows into full manhood. The story takes us across various places in India and abroad and spans over three decades, giving us a glimpse into the life, attitudes and aspirations of a typical Indian twenty first century middle class male. Being a first time author, I must credit Jahid for putting together a coherent set of events that stay together over two hundred pages.

One of the good things the author tries to do with this story is to reinforce some of the modern day ethos – freeing oneself from social conventions, breaking through various economic and social barriers to connect with people, a more liberal attitude towards sex and love to name a few. The book also gives us some insights into the typical life style and interactions amongst the current day urban middle class youth in India, especially those in IT and IT enabled services industry. 

One passing mention I must make before I close is the foreword section. I usually tend to skip this section and do not even remember if the books I read have it or not. But here somehow it caught my eye and what impressed me was the candor. It is written by a professor and gives a balanced view of the book, giving the reader an inkling of what to expect in the book. However like some of the other forewords I have read, it doesn’t take us through the genesis of the book , talk much about the author or go into his overall thought process behind the book.

The book is quite small and is a light breezy read. I would definitely recommend this book to all fans of Indian campus romances. People who generally feel intimidated by books due to heavy language, ideas or content should give this book a try – it is one of the simplest books they can pick up. 


jaish_vats said...

I agree Tf .... Somehow earlier the expectations were that good books should have heavy use of vocabulary... I don't see a reason y ... a good Narration can be simple

Cart Hick said...

Depends on the taste as well. Different people look for different things in books. As long as there are people who find something in your book, well and good.

Suresh Chandrasekaran said...

Excellent review, TF!

Anonymous said...

Good review.

Cart Hick said...

Thanks a lot, Suresh and themoonstone.

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