As the title itself suggests, 'nothing can be as crazy' as this young bank officer who has not only had crazy encounters as a young upstart; but even as he goes through the entire gamut of experiences in both his personal and professional life,it is his illusions that dominate his psyche.He allows the stronger forces to over-rule, gets defeated at some point in life but emerges stronger at the end of it all. And even then, it is not the end, it is the beginning of a new chapter in his life! Suresh,the protagonist, seems to have packed it all in his middle class lifestyle largely dominated by a conventional upbringing nurtured by the 'elders' of the family. Family acts as a strong bond; at the same time, its values prove a hurdle in his personal and professional life.Fresh from a technical school, the hero is off to his first assignment: as a Probationary Officer in the country's most prestigious national bank. His orientation is a medley of experiences typical of boys his age who are given both unrestricted freedom and responsibility on the same platter. He finds himself getting involved and allows his carnal instincts often to take over, much to the chagrin of strong feminists! While his heart dilly dallies over trifles, it is the grimmer and often messier aspects of officialdom that capture the readers' singular attention in the second half of the novel. The fun and interest in office loses out to the mean,murky,mysterious and obscure ways of men that trample over and quash others for selfish ends. These are the ways of men in contemporary India and the author has succeeded in making a commentary on the present times! To be or not to be is the question he appears to put up and has answered it himself by both quitting his job and getting down to penning his life's experiences.
It is contemporary India. It is the society of middle class Indians who value education and family values but would not mind breaking the rules for some secret voyeuristic pleasures that the hero believes are solely the male bastion!
A technocrat, the author is not articulate in the sense that he has not peppered his novel with language that is verbose nor is there a skillful use of figurative language. The style is simple, very contemporary and packed with Indian isms that make it both spatial and temporal.
The writer is a first time novelist and has turned out an excellent novel that has flow and maintains interest till the end. I could call it a seminal novel in the type of life and living in the Indian banking system. A picaresque form of novel where the protagonist travels through time and makes intermittent commentaries on life.
Book Reviewed by Nita Jain
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