Indian English poetry has been a very close subject to me. Right from the…
Book: The Great Indian Bust: A coming of age fiction
Author: Rishabh Bhatnagar
Published by: Amazon Kindle
Publication Year: 2019
Formats: Kindle Ebook
Genre: Coming of age fiction, semi-autobiographical,
Reviewed by: Alok Mishra
Rating: 3.8/5 stars
It was on my reading list for long. And as I am known for not keeping dues for long, I had to read it. The novel appears significant from its title and the appearance begins deceiving once you begin reading it. It turns to be a personal record of events packed as a novel and served as a coming of age fiction. The subtitle of this work by Rishabh Bhatnagar is certainly justified. The narrator begins narrating the story even before his birth and this is almost as paradoxical as was reading such a record in Tristram Shandy, the Laurence Sterne’s masterpiece of 1759. Rishabh, at least in narrative choices, has matched Sterne.
The novel (or a life tale of the protagonist and the narrator) begins with the background of things to come. The narrator tells about his grandfather who died during a hunt in the nearby forest and how the life for his wife and children become troublesome after his death. Narrator’s grandmother is shown as a brave lady who managed her household and education of her children very wonderfully. The narrative shifts from grandparents to narrator’s parents – his father who is a shy person and his mother who is a teacher. The descriptions of places are not very lively but enough to give a sense of the situations to the readers.
The major chunk of story (or a narration of real events in the life of the author) begins once the narrative shifts to its final position – what happens with the narrator as he grows up. Early schooling, experiences in the society, becoming friends with different people, understanding the parent-children bondings and so on… The novel will not reflect to be extra-ordinary but all novels need not be so. Some novels are very well-written as an ordinary tale that can relate with the readers rather easily. Is the same true for Rishabh Bhatnagar’s The Great Indian Bust: A coming of age fiction? Well, you will find it yourself.
Once the discourse comes to the narrator’s youth, the story of the novel becomes intense. We all know how significant is this turn in life when a child arrives in his teens. Parents become conscious of many things to take care of and the same is true for the children as well. Narrator’s first love affair, his first growing friends, his first experiences at life’s swift turns are very well described.
“See! I understand the two of you are used to talking to each other, and it must be very hard to spend your time doing other things, but at this age both of you should concentrate only on your studies!”
This is what the parents of the narrator want to convey once they become aware of his first love affair that couldn’t succeed. However, how did this love story begin? Let’s understand:
“I found her on facebook, sent her a friend request which she accepted the same day, and well, spent two days thinking if I should go talk to her in school, but she was not in my section and I didn’t quite have a lot of friends in the other classes just yet, so that did not happen.”
So, the novel also brings back the memories of those days when the internet was booming and rapidly reaching its peak. And there are many instances like these which make the readers realise they have all ‘lived it before’ and so it becomes easy to associate with the narrator’s experiences.
On a critical level, the novel employs very easy language. Readers won’t have any degree of discomfort in reading and decoding. The plot is very narrow as the author has tried to track down what goes in the life of the narrator – that’s simple. In the name of the theme, a ‘growing child’s life’ can be aptly seen. Moreover, this becomes important because it has various dimensions and some of them have been discussed in this novel. The narrative is intense but limited in magnitude. The author has passionately defended the narrator. This novel is ideal for readers who read every kind of fiction with pleasure. Teens will love it because it deals with teenage issues. You can buy a Kindle copy from Amazon India by visiting the link below:
The Great Indian Bust: A coming of age fiction
- Alok Mishra's Rating
It’s a very good attempt at writing a coming of age fiction. What the youths want to read has been offered to them by Rishabh… there is a lot of room for improvement but first enjoy what’s done well!