Ananya: a bittersweet journey by debutant author Shilpa Gupta had me thinking about a lateral question that has been on my mind since a long time, even before I started with the book. The author is a chemical engineer from IIT, with a post graduate management degree from the IIM and had a corporate career to top it before venturing into writing fiction. Is this an increasing trend? More about that later.
Ananya Sharma, the ever-studious, ambitious IIT-aspirant is a teenager very busy with her studies at school and the extra coaching for IIT, relaxing only when she is with her three good friends Moh(ini), Sanjana and Nandini.
Though her good family friend and classmate Amit is interested in her, she shocks herself by falling for Moh’s brother, the handsome and charming Rohit who is doing his post-graduation in the US.
When Ananya finds herself pregnant at seventeen, love and longing turns to betrayal and shame. What makes matters worse is that she finds her parents’ loving relationship turn sour thanks to her.
When her soaring life plummets, how does she cope with it? How does she face family, friends and society? Can she resurrect her life after the fall? Can she compete with Amit again and reach her IIT goal?
Read this compelling story to find how she manages to reinvent herself.
+ + +
- The first thing that stands out in this work is the fluidity in narration and the racy pace.
- The pleasures, extravagances and tumults in a teenager’s life have been portrayed with honesty. The characterization of Ananya and each of her friends/classmates is so vivid that I could give them faces from among my schoolmates.
- Hey! I like the “Incy Wincy Spider” analogy.
- I do like the way Ananya rebuilds her life, though I do not want to elaborate further for fear of it being a spoiler.
- I like the Nani episode because it brings back memories of some of my vacations spent in a similar environment with similar activities.
– – –
- I certainly do not like the end of Rohit in a rehabilitation centre. Is it to prove sinners suffer in the end? Or to showcase wrong up-bringing? It seems very cinematic. The author’s compulsion to tie all loose ends might have forced this end to the character, but it seems amateurish / contrived.
! ! !
- As I mentioned earlier, this book had me thinking about what makes people veer from high-flying careers towards writing. Apart from the well-known Chetan Bhagat, we have others like RamG Vallath and Arundhati Venkatesh who have followed a similar path. Don’t high profile corporate careers satisfy certain creative spirits? Or is it that corporate careers inspire many a story in their hearts?
- A big problem that looms in today’s world of working parents has been brought to light. Parental neglect can cause children to go wayward is the subtle hint. It was disheartening to note the hint that neglect by the ambitious working mother can cause teenage pregnancy, but I do agree that the society is quick to transfer the blame on the mother, working or not.
Bittersweet journey can be tasty too!
A copy of this book was given me by the author, Shilpa Gupta, in return for an honest review. Thanks Shilpa.