Yet another energetic write-up of man’s search for meaning!
Aditya Saxena lives a quite decent life as an investment banker with a loving girlfriend and nice friends in the most happening city of Mumbai until one day:
when he finds himself thrown out of the company because of his boss' clever politics
when he finds his girl friend's secret relationship with another man
when he realizes that friends are helpful but not to the extent he had expected them to
when Mumbai can no longer accommodate him jobless
That's when he runs away from home to end his life wherein mysteriously he gets to land in a mental asylum. Being identified as an amnesia patient, he makes new acquaintances with a former CEO, a software engineer and a doctorate in theoretical physics, all of who are patients as well who have reached this place after abandonment or life's realistic situations. The little lessons he learns from his new company and the incidents at the mental asylum help him find what he had been searching all his life - The Bluest Marble
What's that Bluest Marble?
is it always about loving your friends & family? - the tag line of the title.
Aditya grew, graduated, found a job, earned - just like any ordinary person. In the process he put all the little things his little heart wished for to a little corner, the very fist being a blue marble he had seen a boy playing with, while he was two or three years old. The boy wouldn't give the marble to him, that made him decide on a wish, "when I grow up, I will get millions and millions of such marbles." From there he began planting in his garden of hope; only planting but couldn't nurture them further as he got busy fulfilling the dreams of people around him.
As a result of the accumulation of years of such seedlings, here he was in a mental hospital, having nothing that belonged to him, to his heart - in a true sense. When one day, he becomes aware of the real problem he was facing - the forgotten hopes, he restarts his whole life again, seeking the blue marble first.
The concept the title has brought about is warm and thoughtful. There are several such little bluest marbles in all of our lives. Those sadly forgotten hopes and dreams could get a revival through this book. The book has the potential to influence the readers on what went missing in their lives.
The Reading Experience
The book does well in bringing out emotions well. There could be a couple of places where the reader could get emotionally moved like when he returns back to his parents' home hopeless - what he calls as the hospital for the hurt souls. And one can feel how the last few pages are written with the true spirit of the title's story. A few excerpts from the book that I admired:
- Our destiny, what we are, what we will become in life, each and every action of ours can all be tracked back to a single thought. The origin of that thought is, more often than not, a simple realization. (Page 244)
- There is a reason we are born as little children and not as adults, so that we can imbibe the world in the most amazing and innocent way. (Page 245)
- With every plus one in my age, one of my plantlets would die. It was simple - with each growing year I was tending the only plant which overlapped with the dreams of my parents and the society I lived in, namely becoming an engineer. (Page 247)
(As a reader, I have taken the liberty to include these few lines from the book. If it violates any of the publisher's or author's rights, please write to me, I am willing to take them off).
Aditya's life at Mumbai went a little longer. There could be some logical non-syncs at some places like the bike scenes. But considering the vastness of the meaning the book involves, they need to be overlooked.
Coincidentally, both the theme and the storyline of the book strikingly resembles Paulo Coelho's Veronika Decides to Die.
As a debutant, author Vipin has shown a bold confidence in language and theme.
Reviewed for BecomeShakespeare.com
Title: The Bluest Marble
Author: Vipin Kumar
Aditya is known as Ram Kumar 125 – a name given to amnesiac patients in a ‘Mental Hospital’. He doesn’t have amnesia; he just doesn’t want to go back to the world he knew before. His inmates include: UT – the brilliant former CEO, Rajesh – software engineer and Jacky – Doctor in theoretical physics. Amongst these ‘crazies’ Ram Kumar 125 discovers himself, the true Aditya, and the secret of happiness. He finds the mysterious and precious “bluest marble” he has been unconsciously looking for all his life.
With portraits that both touch and disturb, corporate politics, Mumbai night life, Dalal Street, lower-middle-class Delhi and psychological “illness”, The Bluest Marble is a sensitive exploration of young urban aspirations and angst in the age of economic turmoil
About the Author
Vipin Kumar is a guy you wouldn t really notice in a crowd of three people. His ability to be extraordinarily ordinary combined with his astute observational sense makes him pick the most mundane people existing in our lives and tell their extraordinary stories. His passion to tell an honest story can be adjudged by the fact that he admitted himself in a hospital to write the hospital scene in this book. He was an active participant in dramatics during college. He co-authored award winning plays and acted in the best ever drama produced in the history of IIT Bombay called Déjà-vu which dealt with IITian s loneliness and rising suicide cases within the campus. Prior to this book he has written numerous short stories (unpublished) and poems (in English, Hindi and Hindustani; unpublished). He has an acute interest in psychological disorders which he has harvested to come up with a new disease in the book. His friends of each kind; those who like him and dislike him, have told him that his writing style reminded them of O Henry and to some extent S H Manto. This is his debut novel.