Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Review: Just Six Evenings

Debut novelist Tanmay Dubey makes a valiant effort at casual reading with his Just Six Evenings, which has a lost & found love story at its core with the backdrop of ruthless corporate world

Book Title: Just Six Evenings
Author: Tanmay Dubey
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Price: Rs 195
Pages: 224 pages

I consider the reader in me to be somewhat in conundrum. The reason is simple. The last few years has seen a large amount of writers churning out what one can call typical Indian stories with the IT industry background, small town & big dreams, young love and the yuppie culture. Amidst all the drama, you get to decide whether Just Six Evenings, the latest in young India drama by debut author & IT professional Tanmay Dubey, is worth reading.

The plot looks promisingly Indian and to be frank, quite Bollywoodish. The book reads like an engaging Bollywood potboiler with all its trappings. The storyline is simple – love meets ambitions, small town, big cities and people caught in between. Young small-towner Atul Shukla has big dreams in his eyes, knows his areas expertise and will learn & work on it for better future. In Bhopal as a minor marketing executive, an accidental meet with Priya on the train changes Atul’s life. Within six days of romantic meetings, a moment of passion & wrong decision rips them apart. Professional life takes Atul to Delhi and he rises above with success. However, regret of losing Priya & friends still fills his mind. Life gives Atul another chance when he meets Priya. Again, the unkind corporate world threatens their second chance. Will they come together or be thrown apart again? Just Six Evenings narrates a tale of love, ambition & everything in between and the India that is developing in the megacities and small towns.

While reading the book, three things strike you quite distinctly – the film like narration, the representation of the rising corporate world and the ambitions of young India especially from the hinterlands. There are chances of one finding similar books. The country is full of Atul Shuklas. What sets this book apart is the fast-paced narration, which allows you to read it like a film and not get bored with a prolonged love story.   

An attractive non-linear narrative keeps up with the pace of the narration. You meet Atul Shukla all dressed up in success but languishing in jail. You then see his life unfolding along interspersed with the prison situation thrown in between. While the jump from past & present happen, you never lose the connect. The manner in which the young small town India and its ambitions has been portrayed is good. You connect with each of the characters whether the hero Atul – his ambitions & stumbling with love, Priya – her ambitions for her family and heartbreak, their friends going through the same emotions, the worldly Guruji, the corporate world & its viciousness. The humour, drama & romance which follow come with the choices made by the characters.

If you ask an avid fan of Indian English literature coming from writers with corporate or non-literary background, Tanmay Dubey’s Just Six Evenings might be an interesting book to read. It has all the elements of masala story, but won’t drag you with romantic soppiness or corporate jargon. Do not expect it to be literary masterpiece. Enjoy the casualness the book offers and be treated to a book full of romantic thrills merged with corporate excitement. Anything more is a matter of opinion.

Concept:  7 out of 10
Plot: 7 out of 10
Character Development: 6 out of 10
Writing: 7 out of 10
Pacing: 8 out of 10
Overall: 7.5 out of 10

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