Title: And We RemainedAnd we remained

Author Name: Asad Ali Junaid

Publisher: Self Published through Createspace

ISBN: 9781495378928

Publishing Year: 2014

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 270

Review:

‘And We Remained’ by Asad Ali Junaid is an account about friendship and tell tale story of friendship – told differently. Differently, because, the author had bid farewell to the customary lengths of pages and loads of paragraphs to share his thoughts and perceptions rather he has chosen an interactive platform of exchanging emails between re-connecting friends.

Today, we are all surrounded by plethora of apps and applications for making communication and reconnecting with our long lost friends with utmost easiness but it was not such a couple of years back. The story is set in early 2000’s when this app-boom was about to burst. It’s just before that when it was e-mails other than females (J) that bind males together. The then young generation was exposed to this electronic medium for the first time and instant replies and minimal waiting time were among a few reasons that attracted friends to get re-united.

This story is about the celebration of one such union of five friends – befriended within the premises of their engineering college and they reconcile their college vigour. Starting from chit-chat to girls to gossips to mishaps; the author has attempted to touch every topic that a college student is exposed to during those years. The exclusivity lies in the approach of sharing these incidents. He takes a dual approach wherein first he acclimatizes the readers with the incident thorough a mention in an email exchange and then followed by a personal take on the incident by one of the friends.

This dual approach may also be renamed as holistic approach because instead of narrating it by himself, he imparts a personal tough by sharing it in the voice of the actual persons involved in the scene. It adds up to the influence quotient. Though, an innovative approach that makes it a light read but in my personal opinion, such an experiment left it with a missing thing.

It made it feel more like a memoir with many breaks rather than a story in itself. I didn’t mean to say that it is not a worthy read; it is an enjoyable and entertaining one. Readers, who are interested in reading something different and who wish to enjoy that hormonal gush of reuniting with college friends, will find it worth a read. The topics chosen to discuss amidst friends and their takes on incidents are easily relatable and brings it closer to reality. Having said this, readers who enjoy reading fictional reality will definitely get involved in turning pages and sinking into the old-memory story.

About the Book

It is Bangalore in the late 1990’s. There are tremendous socio-economic and cultural transformations taking place as a result of liberalization. How would these changes impact the thinking of a group of friends in their late teens? How would they cope, find opportunities and what of their original identities would they be left with, after western ideologies are brought in and bombarded into their awareness by cable TV?

Told through emails and first person account of events, And We Remained is a light hearted and entertaining read of these friends as they experience love, heartbreak, prison, politics, drunken binges, strip clubs, sexcapades, US and Europe during their journey into adulthood.

About the Author

Asad Ali Junaid is a design professional in Bangalore working in the area of Human-Machine Interaction.

Junaid’s book – And We Remained – started as a story which needed to be told…and one which needed to be told differently. While he was struggling to get the narration style and structure right, he joined a three week in residence ‘Just Write’ fiction writing workshop where he got a chance to learn the nuances of and hone his story telling skills from authors Anil Menon, Anjum Hassan and Rimi Chatterjee.

Junaid writes whenever there is a compelling story inside him bursting to get out. JUnaid has written several short stories and is currently editing his second book – which like his first one – has an absorbing story and is very different in narration style.

Junaid has been a resident of Bangalore most of his life except for brief stints in the US for higher education and work.

Junaid’s wife is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. Their toddler completes their home while keeping them on their toes.

Junaid can be reached at

Email: asadalijunaid@gmail.com

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