I’m not twenty four, I’ve been nineteen for five years” by Sachin Garg is the story of Saumya Kapoor , an MDI graduate who gets placed at Lala Steel . Thanks to her unisex name, she is misunderstood as a guy and is posted in a village, Toranagallu in Northern Karnataka. Now Saumya is a Gucci handbag- toting, mini-skirt wearing girl who loves her stilettos, coffee shops and malls way too much. How can a modern girl like that adjust to a life in a god-forsaken village where getting North-Indian food is almost equivalent to a miracle happening? Well, that’s what the chunk of the story is all about….
She just has Amit, her sour and boring classmate from MDI and Malappa , the I-don’t-care Kannadiga for company; both of whom aren’t prime candidates for friendship, according to the lass. To make matters worse she is placed in the safety department and is made to take up a job profile that is tailor-made for guys(thanks to the confusion regarding the name). Several incidents that take place at work place forces Saumya to wonder whether she did the right thing by accepting the offer. Then, the rakishly handsome weed-smoking Shubrodeep makes an appearance and changes everything for Saumya… Does she stick on in Toranagalla or pack her bag back to Delhi? Does she manage to find love and win the bet she has made with Vartika(about getting “some action” in Toranagalla)?You,ll have to read the book to find the answers to all that.
The book is a coming-of-age story of Saumya and portrays how she matures as a person in a matter of few months, due to her experiences at Lala steel.
Though the book is not exactly well-written, the narrative is racy. Saumya, Shubhro and Malappa are extremely likeable characters. More than anything, I think that a lot of youngsters will relate to the plot and the characters. Even Saumya and her friend, Vartika who grated on my nerves for the first few chapters gradually get likeable as the book progresses. The trials and tribulations that Saumya faces at workplace are captured well also. I am going to avoid nit-picking on things like bad editing, spelling mistakes, amateurish writing and questionable grammar and not be a snob because I think the story is actually sweet. It will probably bring back memories of your first job (and/or) your first love.
I guess for a guy writing a book with a female protagonist, and to top it all do the narration in almost diary-style first person, Sachin does a decent job. The initial few chapters were really jarring as one could really sense that the author was trying his best to write “like a girl”. Gradually though, Saumya’s voice isn’t that difficult to tolerate. By the end of the book you’ll start rooting for her, I am sure. In the prologue, Sachin mentions that the book is the true story of a colleague. He has used a picture taken by the girl’s boyfriend (showing her jeans-clad, stiletto encased feet ) on the cover, which is cute. Yeah, it screams chick-lit, but is cute, nevertheless.
Overall, an enjoyable, breezy read which I’ll rate 3/5.
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