Status: Read from June 11 to June 12, 2016
My rating: /5
Author: Durjoy Datta
Aisha, a bit late bloomer, has to figure out what it means to be a woman and to be desired. Danish feels time is running out for him and he’s going to end up as a nobody, as opposed to his overachieving, determined younger brother.
Life takes a strange turn when Danish, the confused idiot, is appointed as the student counsellor to Aisha. Between the two of them they have to figure out love, life, friendship – most of all, themselves. And it’s not proving to be…easy?
This is my first ever book by Durjoy Datta. Seeing the average rating, I was not able to decide whether to read it or not. But after so many recommendations I decided to go for it. And this book didn’t disappoint me. I finished reading it in two days’ time.
I really appreciate the author to take up a topic and present it so boldly which is considered as a taboo in Indian society. The story revolves around the main characters Aisha and Danish. But what I really liked about the book is the many messages it gave through the presence of other characters in the story.
It’s a teacher student love story. Aisha a teenager, who is trying to figure out what it means to be a woman, busy with her school, friends, studies and teenage confusions. Danish a 23 year old young man, who has achieved nothing but only failures in all his life. Always shadowed by his overachieving younger brother, he fails in his exams and is forced to take up a job as a student’s counsellor in Aisha’s school. From here the story speeds up. There come so many twists destroying Aisha’s image in the school, Danish for the first time ever feeling worth of something in life and the high school dramas.
In between the love story, the description of the brother sister relationship of Sarthak and Aisha is very sweet. Sarthak being an elder brother, loves his little sister but cannot express his love towards her, the reason is being his own doubts on his sexual orientations and gossips about Aisha in the school.
“Aisha sneaked out and unpacked the suitcases and hid my clothes and books around the house. She would have this look on her face, this cute weasel look, as if to say she didn’t know who did it, and that maybe it was a sign from God telling me not to go.”
I think the reason why many of the people said this book is Ok type or little weird might be because of the gay story being involved. But I find it absolutely fine. What’s wrong in it? Sarthak accepted who he was, stood up for his identity and fought for it. He moved to a place where he was accepted and loved for who he is. He did have to suffer and carry the burden for being different, for having different sexual orientation.
“I was the woman in the relationship that never existed, and aren’t the women always the ones who are at the butt end of everything. If they fuck when they want to they are sluts, if they don’t they are prudes. But why was it happening to me? I was a man. ”
And to all those who think LGBT community should not exist, please read the below phrase from the book:
“If there was an active God and if this were against religion why would he create me? What did I do in my mother’s womb that pissed him off so much that he made me gay? And what do people think? We are so attracted to a certain gender that we pick a life full of relentless hatred? Does our attraction, or choice, means so much? Of course not! Because it’s not a choice. It’s not in our hands. We don’t fight for our right to be attracted to the person of the same sex; we fight for our right to exist.”
This book also shows how parents try to understand the new generation and accept them as they are with more love and compassion. They love their children with all their flaws. They do become a little pressing and pressurising for their image in the society by comparing the achievements of their children with other children. But deep inside they only want the happies of their children.
The heart of the book is in the way Danish stands by Aisha through all her hard times and how he keep encouraging her to face the world. Though he loves her, but could not tell her for the student teacher barrier. Love Ankit for being so supporting brother to Danish during his times of need. He was like a guide and friend to him, never discouraging Danish and giving suggestions and help whenever needed.
The thing I liked most about the book is reference to harry potter and twilight series. I love these two series and liked the way Durjoy used them as metaphor in few of the instances. And I being myself a book nerd agree completely about his opinion:
“The good thing about being friends with a nerd (I mean that in a good way) are:
- They the most genuine people. They are so worried about their marks and about learning that they don’t think about playing games in relationships. Nerds rock.
- They make you learn things. Once a non-nerd makes friends with a nerd, the nerd makes you learn everything they know. Well, at first they are a little shocked to see how dumb you are.
The world would be a better place if every mean, dumb person was paired up with a book-devouring, number-crunching, equation-solving nerd. They love you unconditionally. Unless you lose their notes –then they don’t.”
The writing is very simple and it’s a light read. The reason I gave three stars is, though I liked the book, the story, the character development, the writing style, it wasn’t engaging. I didn’t get the curiosity to know what happens next. As I went on reading, the next scene was very much predictable. I appreciate the book for being very straight in describing the teenage doubts and questions and openly showing the level of acceptance in Indian society of people like Sarthak.
About the author:
Durjoy Datta was born in New Delhi, India, and completed a degree in engineering and business management before embarking on a writing career. His first book Of Course I Love You! was published when he was twenty-one years old and was an instant bestseller. His successive novels Now That You’re Rich!; She Broke Up, I Didn’t!; Ohh Yes, I Am Single!; You Were My Crush; If It’s Not Forever; Till the Last Breath; Someone Like You; Hold My Hand; When Only Love Remains; World’s Best Boyfriend have also found prominence on various bestseller lists, making him one of the highest-selling authors in India.
Durjoy also has to his credit six television shows and has written over a thousand episodes for television.
Durjoy lives in Mumbai, loves dogs and is an active CrossFitter.