Thursday, 10 December 2015

Grey & White Day Scholar by Raj Sekar: Book Review

25 years past schooling, the author and his friends think about a reunion of their school classmates. A few of them travel from Chennai to Tirupattur, a town in Vellore district, Tamil Nadu and the place where their school is located. Grey & White Day Scholar is all about the memories the author recollects as he travels to his old school. They travel in search of their other classmates and eventually discover the whereabouts of a few of them. 

The author has realistically brought out the little joys, that towns in Tamil Nadu would have offered its school boys in the 1980s. Readers who did schooling in the same period in a similar town can not only relate to the author's experiences but also can drench in beautiful memory showers. 

A school exhibition in which his son displays a project, reminds the author of his own school days. A coincidental call from one of his classmates a few days later about a school alumni meet, sparks their interest to revive their school friendship. They plan to celebrate the silver jubilee year after their schooling, by organizing an alumni meet. However, of the 60 students, they have contacts of only 6. So they decide to drive to Tirupattur in pursuit of the rest. 

The childhood joys of little boys - tour adventures, meeting movie celebrities like Rajinikanth, local town festivals and many more - form the main scoop of the book. All of it have been written with unadulterated nostalgia in the real sense. Also, the author sincerely discusses several historical facts in the book. The evolution of English language, history of Don Bosco, the political history of Tamil Nadu, the medieval Indian history - such quick, compiled information would, for certain, interest history lovers. 

The book also subtly touches the emotions and thoughts of parents of today whose childhood were a lot different than their children's. The necessity to cope up with the advancements in technology and acquired social status have found a significant stress on our everyday lives. As a final note, the author advises his readers:

'Do not forget to pass on to your sons and daughters certain important lessons about life - cherish the little things you have, have confidence, and believe in yourself and in the power of hardwork'. 

Through a new Facebook page, the author was able to gather half of his classmates and hopes to celebrate their silver jubilee alumni meet soon. 

The flow of narration and conversations is good though at some places, the content seems to drift away from the main scene. Readers who fail to be in sync with the author's nostalgic emotions (specifically readers who belong to a different time period and region as that of the author) might find it difficult to appreciate the depth of the work.

Over all, Grey & White is a nostalgic treat!

Reviewed for the Author

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy from the Author in exchange for a honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

Title: Grey & White Day Scholar: Colourful Dreams
Author: Raj Sekar
Publisher: Self-published through Notion Press
Pages: 316

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About the Book

In 2015, the protagonist returns to his hometown Tirupattur in Tamil Nadu after 25 years. With the help of his classmate Vinoth, he tries to track down his other schoolmates for a silver jubilee reunion of the Don Bosco School they studied in.
He takes a trip down memory lane to the eighties. He recollects many interesting stories and incidents from his school life – the encounter with the panthers of Yelagiri Hills, the Naxalite bomb blast, Bosconians’ mentorship, his fascination for the movies, meeting Rajinikanth, the cycle race with friends, and their love stories. The racy narrative unfolds several untold stories from the Sandal City where it all started. It also travels to Italy, Portugal, Kerala, Goa and Shillong.
The protagonist and his friends studied together, they stood by each other, and they overcame several hardships together. Even after several years, they continue to value their friendship. They also take immense pride in being a former Bosconian.
What happened to the protagonist’s 60-odd classmates? Do they meet for their school’s silver jubilee reunion? What had kept them apart for 25 years? Will the mystery be revealed?

About the Author
Raj Sekar is an engineer who graduated from Anna University, Chennai. He did his MBA from the Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Trichy. Raj Sekar has worked as an investment banker and a brand manager. After a long stint with a bank, he turned an educational entrepreneur. He is a visiting professor in a college, and also coaches people for the civil services and bank exams. Apart from books, the author has a keen interest in movies and loves travelling. He has worked in different parts of the country. He is now based in Chennai.