Book Review: From Where I See
–more like ‘A complete mini-encyclopedia of all the knowledge and theories and thoughts whatsoever the author has’
Most authors only wish for what the author has actually achieved in this book- their heads, each and very though and fact inside their head out for the reader to know, unloading their brains completely onto the paper.
When you see the blurb/synopsis on the back-side of the book using the words “exploration of hundreds of pertinent questions..”, DO NOT think the author has used an exaggerated metaphor.
Contrary to what it promises to be- although an indeed interesting and m
ostly informative read (provided you cross check with internet before accepting a fact from it on the face value, since many of the ‘facts’ are indeed questionable)- it’s anything but a novel.
To be brutally honest, reading the book gives you a feeling that the protagonist has no one to speak to, and has read too much, and so just needs to vent it out somewhere- anywhere. And hence he ended up being featured as the only worth-mentioning character of the ‘novel’.
Even the woman Shruti- whose murder/suicide the book promises to ‘investigate’ has hardly any significance in the plot.
This book indeed covers all the topics people usually think, read or discuss about- right from before the dawn of human civilization, to the current US policy on Middle East, covering origin, development and present situation of all the religions of the world (upon which the author was ‘gracious’ enough to sprinkle the “gems of his wisdom”), the history of marriage and society, Psychology, Sociology, Geography, India-Pakistan wars, Iraq-Israel-Palestine, investigative insights into corruption in Indian society- and a “grand revelation” that “Aryans were outsider invaders, people of Harappa Civilization were the real ‘locals’, and thus Hinduism isn’t an Indian religion”.
But the author won’t stop here. He goes on, ‘exposing’ the “Great Aryan Conspiracy theory”, according to which, the Yadavs were the real most powerful, dominant, and the only valiant tribe/caste/community of Vedic period (which has absolutely nothing to do with the author’s being from the very same caste).
The author also makes another ‘revelation’ about Gandhi- accusing him of being a hypocritical megalomaniac, who ‘sabotaged’ the Indian Independence Struggle as many times as he lead it- only to satiate his personal whims and fancies. He questions Gandhi’s political and social judgments based on Gandhi’s alleged self-imposed ‘sex-starvation, and resultant deprived personality’.
The content is in the form of monotonous monologues- going on-an-on for as much as 3-4 pages in a go, with the writing style being of journalist writing an article for a
newspaper rather than a writer writing for someone wanting to read a novel.
DO READ: If you’re looking for a crash course into “Dinner-conversation-purpose General Knowledge of Everything”
DON’T READ: If you want to actually read a novel.