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Thursday, May 23, 2013

When Strangers K. Hari Kumar

Title: When Strangers Meet 
Author: K. Hari Kumar
Publisher: Srishti Publishers& Distributors
Genre: Fiction
Date:  2013
Price: Rs. 100
Pages: 320

Snapshot: As the title suggests When Strangers an entertaining story of three strangers meeting on a fateful day at the metro station waiting room and how that meet changes their lives.

The Story from the Critics Perspective:  First of all I loved the coverpage immensely. I received the book a day before my birthday, and was so drawn to it that I started reading it the same night post all the 12pm celebrations. I do believe that a coverpage plays a crucial role in attracting the audience and here the book scores 5/5.

The book is divided into three broad parts each of which has further sub parts. The first part involves a lot of character development of one of the three lead characters Jai, who is the son of a Mathematics professor Prakash Sharma. Jai is a rebel. As it happens in most parent-child clashes, their ideas do not match. The reason here is Mathematics, the love of the fathers life, which the son hates to even look at. The real problem arises when Prof. Sharma decides his son who barely passed class12 will be an engineer, Jai has other plans about his future, which of course are far away from Mathematics. When he expresses his wish, the father and son fight and as always is the father wins. However, Jai is good at heart and doesn't believe his father should spend all his life's savings for educating him, that too a subject he hates and can never excel. Therefore, he decides to flee and fulfill his dreams. 
On the other hand, Hussain Ansari, the next lead character is a tea-seller. An honest man who wishes his elsdest son Arshad, his helping hand at work has a bright future. To make this happen he buys a lottery ticket, and one day finally the lords shower all that he wishes for as he wins a handsome amount in lottery.  He sets his journey the very next day to the lottery ticket office. The same day that Jay flees away from home. They meet at a metro waiting room as the metro stops functioning for a few hours. 

The stage is set now, and the last and the most important character Iyer enters. He begins talking to Jai. They discover that Jai and him had a lot in common, especially two greatest factors: one - a father who is a  hardcore mathematician and two - the dream to be on 70mm screen as a lead actor one day. 

Here begins part two of the story where Iyers life story begins in flashback. He describes himself not as a bulky man he was, but a smart notorious young boy. He fights with his father, who fails to realize his dreams and promises to never come back. His angry father tells him to come home, only the day he dies.  He sleeps on foot path, gives a lot of auditions, try to crack the jack to become an actor like his (and my favourite too) Rajnikant. On the way he also meets a beautiful girl but leaves her too for his dream. However a lot of variables play a role in getting a big role and unfortunately luck doesn't favour him. However he doesn't give up but does something else that gives him a respectable life. He does mould a respectable man out of himself. However, life and movies will be all boring if there was just one mood, so one day Iyers family locate him and he comes to know his father is on death bed and they need money for his treatment.

Iyer requests Jai to just give his mother the money he arranges for, he is afraid if he goes to his father, the curse will kill him. However, when Jai meets his old father who has only his sons name on his lips insists on telling Iyer waiting outside the hospital to see him, only to find him gone.

Why did Iyer leave without knowing how his father was? Will Jai find Iyer? Will he ever have the courage to face his father? Why did Hussain being in the same room not listen to Iyer? Read the book to know the complete story.

The Review:

Positives: A well planned and well written story. Language is simple, flow and pace is maintained throughout. The author has dedicated this book to his father and it truly delivers the message emphatically through an entertaining story. Truly recommended for fathers and sons.

Negatives: There is some repetition at a few places, however that wont make you bored.

The Verdict: A light, entertaining and enjoyable read with a message. Surely unputdownable.  Thanks Hari for sending it on the right day :). 3.5 stars on 5.
About the Author:K Hari Kumar is working as an Assistant Director in the Indian film industry. He has written, acted and directed four independent projects that have been screened in various film festivals.

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