Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Review: Romi and Gang by Tushar

Book: Romi and Gang

Author: Tushar Raheja

No. of Pages: 234

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Pirates Publisher

It is quite possible that an author approaches a book reviewer with his / her debut novel. but how about a Publisher approaching a book reviewer with their 'debut novel' !!!
Pirates Publisher approached me with the book review request and I accepted. I was intrigued by their name and the very very interesting email I received from an email which read Captain@Pirates ... I readily agreed and the book was delivered at my doorstep from their partner Snapdeal. 
I was surprised to see that the Book was author-signed. Thank You Pirates and Author Tushar Raheja for that. These small things count.  
Even before I began to read the book, I shot off an email to the Publishers … appreciating a couple of things. I am reproducing the exact text from the email for you to read …

Received the book today. Will start reading it only on Monday but 3 things caught my attention immediately and thought of communicating them to you ...

1. The size of the book is pretty unconventional. Gives a different feel to simply hold the book.

2. illustrations .... a simple flipping across the book revealed several illustrations ... both the size of book and existence of illustrations took me back to my school days of reading ... when i would pick up novels with illustrations and interesting cover designs ..

3. Last but not the least, I loved your Pirates Logo !!! 

All the Best Guys for your venture ....

If you are wondering why would i comment on their logo  … look at he black and white image above ... the Publisher's logo appears in the same. Look closely and you would know what I mean.
The book has a very different feel to it and the pencil sketch illustrations bring the story to life. There are full page illustrations as well as small tiny stamp size ones through all acorss the book and I would love to drop an email to the illustrator/artist - Biswajit Das - regarding his work. Nothing exceptional again but he has infused life into the writen words of Tushar and that itself is noteworthy.
The novel is but a simple story of a school kid who loves cricket and his close friends. The story is about learning the true meaning of the game – it is not about the century you claim, its about your standing at the crease holding fort for your team.
As you read the story, you discover the nature and character of the 4 kids amidst the school time innocence and mischief. They grow through the story (not in age, but in character and strength). They learn lessons of life. Even the character of Romi's father is shown as a very strong one in a very subtle manner. None of the characters are over-glorified. Each one gets their space and due importance. In some ways, it reminded me of Lagaan - parallels being cricket and the importance given to all characters rather than focusing on Amir alone. 
In this story too, Romi is NOT the HERO. He is one of the 4 central characters who have a strong and realistic suporting cast of parents, teachers, bad-ass principle, female interests, childhood innocence and perspective. The writing style is the hero here ...
The story is nothing exceptional or fast paced or thrilling … it is a simple story which touches you in some ways. I enjoyed reading it.

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