A unique plotline helps sustain not only the story of the novel but also grabs the attention of the reader and takes him through a journey that is full of freshness, beauty and hope. Along similar lines is the plot of The Roller Coaster which has barely anything to do with the adventuresome ride but is in fact a term used synonymously to the ups and downs of life. It is akin to struggle and the challenges of facing hassles in life. The book is more like a journal entry but within the framework of a novel that is told in the first- person narrative point of view by the author-narrator. The subtitle: An Uncommon Story of a Common Man explains the epigram at the start of the book that says: from Difficulties to Honors. This can be noted in the initial pages of the book that comes with four quotes from the author regarding the right attitude to facing the challenges of life which serve as mantras. For example: “Your every pain, Every Bone Crush n Muscle Break…
Would pen a story on its own, in Ur Journey’s Trek…
U gotta Exhaust to the Hilt, keeping all things at Stake…”
This gives the reader the understanding that the storyline in the novel is something inspiring and full of zeal to fight against the odds, be patient and remain persistent. It creates the notion that challenges are a humbling experience that if taken in the right manner can create a springboard effect which will allow individuals to rise and shine. Technically, the book is divided into 16 chapters of unequal length. At 156 pages the book is moderately long and is on the shorter side though the content of the book is lofty that makes for a long, time- consuming read. The book is not one that can be skimmed through and read in parts and bits. It is meant to be devoured to the extent that the book can be understood and its core themes and messages can be underlined and imbibed in everyday life. Through the world of a fictional narrative, the book helps spread moral values of patience, perseverance and positive outlook towards life by looking at the world through the lens of a single individual who is juggling the myriad facets of the roles that he plays in life along with the challenges of life to overcome them and meet a better end. He is the everyman who is the commoner, middle class individual. It is in explaining to his daughter the true meaning of success and failure that one realises his mentality. He is open minded, frank and bears a positive attitude towards life that does not include unnecessary competition with others. These are not just ideas but attitudes which he believes in instilling in the mind of his daughter as well who is too young to process the abstraction of success and failure and questions her father regarding the possibility and the stigma of having failed. It is at this juncture that the protagonist Raghu shares the three mantras of his life: Live and Let Live, Live Today as if there is no Tomorrow and Be Positive, Be Hopeful and Stand Firm on Your Choices. The story goes into flash back and describes the time when Raghu was in school as an adolescent and trying to fathom the difficulties of living and the mysteries of existence in this world. The story picks pace from there and charts out the life of Raghu as he goes through college, does his MBA and enters the work force. Meanwhile, parallel to this is the expression of his life goals and aspirations to find a suitable life partner, fall in love and experience the joys of becoming one with someone who will be by his side through thick and thin. While the plot may not be too different and very innovative but it is the writing style that is bound to pique the interest of the reader and hold their attention for great lengths. The language of the book is simple and easy to follow but has a lot of colloquialisms that may be hard for many to follow if they are not familiar with Hindi. These Hindi colloquialisms do not only occur as dialogues but also as long paragraphs which have been translated into English in parenthesis. However, the real joy of reading the text can only be derived from reading through the Hindi dialogues which makes the characters more relatable and simplifies their journey. It makes them one among many, common yet uncommon in their love for adventure and boldness to fight the odds. The poem The Glimpse from the chapter First Love is beautifully penned, emotional and descriptive of the many feelings of spotting someone with whom there is an instant connection. On the whole, the book is a good read with a simple tone but a lot of depth of thought, a good sense of humour, nice blend of emotions and a zeal for life in general which makes it worth reading more than once.
Name of book: The Roller Coaster
No. of pages: 156
Year of Publication: 2022
Reviewed by: Tasnima Yasmin