Title: An Offbeat Story
Publisher: Frog Books / Leadstart Corp
Publishing Year: 2014
An Offbeat Story by Siddharth Srivastava is an offbeat story in a true sense. Very rarely it happens that the content of the book does justice to the title conceived or the other way round. This work is a proof of a worthy trial.
Before, I highlight various other aspects, I admit that my decision to postpone publishing review for this book, has been worthwhile. Why? It is such because, this book was provided to me somewhere around the month of March 2014 and though, I completed reading it (for once) at that time, I didn’t feel myself to be experienced enough to comment on the work done by the author. But today, I am much more confident and more adept in scrutinizing different writing styles and guiding inspirations of the authors.
The author Siddharth is an independent journalist and this adorns him with impeccable writing skill. You will definitely enjoy his book, for his journo style of writing. Though, the story revolves round his stumbles with different kinds of females – one from his hometown, another being a fast forward from an urban locale, another with a liberal mind set, his better half (i.e. wife) and the best blessed one – his little daughter.
The tone and flavour of the story (his verdicts) change as the ladies change leaving impact on his life and his perceptions as well. Perceptions not only about the females but about general topics as well, which surround our lives. Being a journalist requires adept attention to details and this is well depicted in his descriptions and dialogues. They way he sees, perceives, adapts and provides his viewpoint is strong enough to teleport you back to the hours when such incident would have happened.
His difference in opinions with father, his take on common topics such as politics, daily chores etc., and his perceptions related to ladies and then his changes in his thought process she he gets blessed with a little princess. I personally enjoyed his shades as a father and how he attempts to answer his princess’ queries related to some sensitive topics that were beyond her age limits. J They were helpful but entertaining as well. His personal anecdotes sprinkled within the story were enriching.
Though, tables have turned since the times, this book / story was conceptualized but the basic questions and observations remain constant. Public in general is optimistic with its expectations with the ruling government and hence the services and amenities but, there still is long road to be traversed and thus, the story conserves its essence.
Another aspect that you, as a reader will enjoy for sure is his observation and actions implemented as an urban based married man. How the people and society in large perceive about a man helping his wife in executing home related and routine chores and how he juggles with them in a light-hearted tone and takes the matter in his stride was quite captivating. I hope perceptions of society and our perceptions pertaining to society divulge new and stronger male species who is not ignorant towards the importance of female partner in making and tending family.
With this hope, I recommend this read to all urbane males who feel a bit shy in expressing their care and compassion towards their wives and are, not confident enough to accept their inclination towards the soft partner. Trust me you all will feel relieved on learning this is all natural and acceptance is praise-worthy. Though female readers will not find much to get hold on but then if you are seriously looking something which is not just ‘guns and roses’ and you mean business, then definitely, you gonna enjoy this read.
About the Book
India is in transition. The changes are not economic only. There are social, cultural transformations, attitudes and reactions to which vary. In the story, the protagonist drifts into journalism missing ot on usual routes of Indian nirvana, IIT, IIM or IAS. He moves from adolescence to adulthood setting up an independent consultancy somewhere along the way. It is not easy to create a steady niche professionally and personally amonng myriad influences and sometimes fixated ideas of father, mother, brother, girlfriends, wife, married lover and more. The contradictions need to be managed, errors ironed out. Some experiences are expected, others not so calculated. There are mistakes.
The journey of life is not easy. There are secrets that cannot be told, expectations not met, events that cannot be controlled. Retaining a bit of spice and humour become essential. A pair of dimples that women find irresistible is a relief but only fleetingly. There is happiness in speculative gains due to rising real estate prices. Some things fall in place, others do not.
About the Author
Siddharth Srivastava is an independent journalist based in Gurgaon, NCR. He has worked for the Times of India. Over the last decade, his writings have appeared in reputed publications across the world. His other assignments include India-related consulting projects from clients based in America, Europe and Southeast Asia. This is his first work of fiction.
Siddharth has studied in St. Edmund’s (Shillong) and Delhi Public School (RK Puram). He has a BA (Honours) degree in economics from Hindu College, Delhi University and a post-graduate in the same subject from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He represented Delhi state at the national level in water sports.