Delirium, the title was so intriguing for me but I could not make out, what it means. My eyes were glued to glamorous looking book cover with hues of red, green and blue colours spread on a masculine body and an attractive but confused female face. The stumps used in the title were enough to provide me with a hint that it was something related to cricket.
Is it a love story of a cricketer? Is it something about a cricketer caught in a honey trap? Is it something about dilemma (I connected this with similar looking spelling) of a cricketer to choose between personal or professional life? Or a love story with a backdrop of Indian cricket or a specific cricket match? Should I look for the meaning on internet or learn through the novel itself? After this, my mind needed to relax, I chose to learn it from book reading and the gripping story solved the purpose very well.
The story is about a female journalist – Anju, who was assigned a beat to cover drug use by Indian cricket team. While working on the assignment, she bumps into the charming Vice-Captain of the Indian team, Avinash Katagi. She is vouching for some scoop, some punch or some statement from the team members, the captain or vice-president or team manager, somebody or anybody and she is working hard on it.
Ultimately, she is successful is getting one but sadly, she had to pay a price for it. What do you think could be the price paid by a strong-headed woman like her, a professionally secure woman like her and who is a wife to a caring, loving, understanding and a committed husband.
It summarizes the hardships faced by a female correspondent in the media industry. It draws a fine line between how easy or how hard is for females to get the inside out of the stories, stories that are nothing but a bitter truth with ugly faces. It outlines the internal facts and developments, around dressing room and within the Indian sports industry, ‘Cricket’ in particular. How our idols whom we worships as Gods, are falling for rotten craps.
I am very impressed with the story and the treatment given but still there are a few points, which I do not comply. Firstly, with due respect to the plot created by the author, it was not easy for me to watch Anju fall prey to her addiction. She has been portrayed as a strong, independent woman with a healthy life style but still she seems to fail to maintain. Next, Anju’s marital life was a healthy one but I couldn’t digest the easy going behaviour of the husband when he was well informed about the problems that she was facing in her professional life. Nevertheless, the author catered to this aspect as well with dignity and composure of a caring and loving husband in later pages.
I liked how the author, has brought her journalistic writing skills and the wit of a journalist, into her novel writing. She is a smart and a tough enterprising person with all brains. She has beautifully depicted the scenario that professionally, working women experience while maintaining a balance between professional ethics and personal commitments. I also liked how within the lines though, the media and politics connection was infused intelligently.
Recommended as a must read for:
– Indian cricket fans: because you will get an insight how the cricketers are entangled into vicious circles of supplements for victory, fame and name at the cost of game itself.
– Media professionals: because you will get to learn how the seasoned professionals work hard to live up to their professional demands and what happens if their image is set to be tarnished. You should read to gain an understanding about commitment, sincerity and integrity.
– Avid book lovers: because it is a script that you will not get to read on general basis
and if you are an Indian and you are surely a cricket lover and you know the reason behind it.
Last but the least, I would like to share that all through the book, I felt as if I was pursuing my internship with Anju and was made to accompany her so as to understand the basics of profession and life of a female correspondent. It is a tale of cruel and harsh reality of professionalism and sportsmanship in the society using an exclusive story and an usual plot.
Still, are you craving for a scoop to tantalize yourself? Here it is:
‘But Anju, aren’t you misusing your personal relationship with Katagi for professional ends?’
A story of addiction that will leave you addicted for more. Sowmya Aji, I would love to read more from your news desk. Keep writing!