All the thirty pairs of eyes are spotlighted around him. Even in the uncontrolled chill of the heavily air conditioned conference room inside-he just discovered that he is sweating profusely.
All is for a presentation what he thought is an absolute gem a few minutes back-now he just discovered it is worthless.
All is at stake-his decade old (more than that) to the company-his pride of being a genius of the industry-all!
A king of yesterday is now a mere beggar……what a reversal of fate!
Just kidding….Yours Destiny by Anirban Das is a hilarious account of complex but yet not so complex life of Kunal-the real estate genius. We have termed the fiction as hilarious –but that is mostly due to author’s natural talent of extracting laughter. There are funny moments in our protagonist’s life-no doubt, but his life has followed a sine curve-well, almost it- where a crest has almost immediately followed by a torugh!
We must have all heard about the great American dream. That concept was imported just after recession in America. In every American’s garage-a car and chicken to the dinner table of every American family-it was the brainchild of American president Roosevelt. Small dream-big chase –it was the purpose after all. In the late nineties, the concept of great Indian dream became a part of the chase of young India. Well-it is all due to the economic liberalization. The doors when opened for the world-new concepts are bound to enter. A lad entering the business class sitting area of an international flight with a laptop bag (of course with a laptop) hanging from his shoulder, is all that the dream tells. After all we are poor Indian-how can our dream be as delicious and powerful (it is all about chicken and car after all) as the American one. I am now just unable to recall the person responsible for this idea-it is a sign that I am getting old after all- maybe I need a slice of American dream now.
Now our protagonist Kunal has made a successful stride towards both the dreams. He is the rarest of the rare guys of India who is privileged with driving his own Mercedes-who has an apartment in proper Mumbai (everybody knows now a days what a fortune anybody has to shell out to own a matchbox sized room in proper Mumbai). And we are not sure whether he gets to eat chicken every day-but from the lifestyle he maintains-it is not hard to imagine that the guy is not entirely starved.
If you think Kunal is a don of Mumbai to maintain such a princely lifestyle (India is a land of princes and maharajas)-then I will request you to reconsider your decision once again. Kunalis is not a don of crime-but a don of his field-the real estate. It is another fact thought that real dons from the dark lanes thrive on the real estate field. He is a star attraction of the real estate company where he has worked-or ay least he has that perception. Until his company has been taken over by an aggressive concern and one more aggressive boss and it is the start of the doomsday for our not so young protagonist.
‘I slumped to my chair as defeat was thrust upon me from the jaws of victory. It was checkmate. Harry. If by some miracle, all went well, Harry would be the great leader and if things didn’t fall into place, I would be the fall guy. Harry was pushing me out of the company and ever so subtly.’
If you are a firm believer in the old saying that a smiling dawn replaces a shivering black cold night-then you are bound to fall in love with the story. Simply Kunal has a stumbling luck everywhere- be it is his official life or his personal life. The irony of fate is in spite of his best efforts-his life gets altered-from a high to a low and vice versa. There is where the title seems appropriate-he is a mere puppet at the hand of destiny. Climax and anti climax, twist and turn, future and present-the story is seemingly full of all types of contrasts. Plurals have been used in both the cases-because it is so vivid-that contrast needs to be plural. Take the example of marital life of Kunal. He was happy with his job and office life until he made the blunder of listening to the emotional blackmail of his mother
‘ and what followed was the mother of all emotional punch lines ‘ we have made so many sacrifices to bring you up, and when you ask some happiness, in return, is it such a big demand? We are becoming old……and you don’t even listen to us properly. Will we ever get to see the faces our grandchildren in our lifetime?’ my mother had started shedding copious tears.’
So, started Kunal’s endeavor of finding the girl of her dream.
But it all started with a stumble. The first girl turned out to be an experienced girl-a veteran in the art of love making. Kunal was virtually a novice compared to the truthful lady. And heaven sent him sign to decline the frank, sophisticated, charming…….girl!
For the next girl-Kunal had to fly for a thousand miles, literally. And luckily for him, she turned out to be the perfect bride for him.
Or he had the illusion…….
Life is not the same as we have always envisaged……..it is far more complex than our anticipation. And his marriage did not work well.
Back to office-our hero receives two gifts-one is the troubling boss ready to scoop him out at his slightest mistake and another loving caring colleague who will soon be at resonance with the frequency of his mind
It seems that his new boss will tear him apart like a Bengal tiger. In contrast it also appears that it is a matter of days when the arrow of cupid strikes the target.
Fire and ice combination-is not it?
Where the destiny will put Kunal at the crossroad of life?
Anirban has the ability to plunge into the depth of realities of life. He has presented deep philosophical insights of life in a light way.
I have almost forgotten to mention that Mumbai –the vibrant city is present with all its glory throughout the book. Life of the upper middle class Mumbaikars has became alive through the writing of Anirban.
Life is a mirage.
But that illusion makes the life the most beautiful book to read on and on and on…….