Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Author: Suresh Taneja
Publication: Frog Books
Editor: Vibha Sharma
Price: INR 145, $6
Rating: ***3/4

A bunch of youngsters (G4, as they call themselves)  have a long vacation at hand. They plan a mischievous party, only that they are forced into a bizarre situation. A situation that causes them to think. To think about things that their tender brains and hearts are not yet trained for. 

The situation, or the sequence of events, as I can put it, changes their lives altogether. From carefree teenagers, almost overnight, they grow into flag-bearer of one of the largest mass movements that modern India has seen.

Their creativity, thinking, resolve, determination, never say die attitude, situation handling skills, friendship, integrity, honesty, even a fair amount of good luck, all are put to hard tests, time and again, and almost always, the G4 comes out victorious. Do read the book to find out what happens eventually.

It is heartening to see how a topic that has impacted almost all the people of India, be dealt with, so easily. The book definitely gives a whole new perspective to the problem of rampant corruption in India, and a novel solution to it. The book will see its ultimate success, when people get inspired by the story, take hints and eventually shake the soul of the nation with a similar mass movement, thus cleansing the nation of this ill that has ailed her for so long.

Though the narration is quite excited, rather than being subtle and does not come across as natural, I think it is a good start for the author. It would have been better, had the story also dealt with some moments of the G4 where they actually failed, or did not succeed as per expectations. This would only make the story more real.

Additionally, I think, it would have been better had the part with the PM be reduced to him releasing a formal letter or something similar, as the G4 attending meetings had, by that time, become too commonplace and routine. Joking with the PM, PM crying and even an anchor crying on screen is too much to imagine. 

It is reassuring that time and again the emphasis of the story has lain in the fact that truthfulness must be achieved. One must walk the righteous path to glory as only that path has the power to sustain. The goodwill and trust you earn over time is bonus.

Another brilliant thing about the book is the family tree right in the beginning of the story, its absence would have made life really difficult for the reader.

As for me, I would love to see this book scale heights of fame as the time passes... Just for a reassurance that the literary world still acknowledges those who want to write a clean story, devoid of all that was once considered cheap, but has now become the selling point of many books.

Do read the book, for there is still hope for a better world.

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