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Zero Not Out: Every journey has to end, for a new beginning — by Vamshi Krishna

Publisher: Invincible Publishers

Pages: 194

Price: Rs. 249 INR(Paperback), Rs. 200 INR(Kindle Edition)

ISBN: 978– 9388333788

Buy here: https://amzn.to/2kmTtUf

Varun Krishna, hailing from a middle-class family, works hard to realize his dream of getting into one of the top IITs. During his four years of college, he would go on to make friends and mentors for life. He would also meet his first love Nitya Iyer during his first year in college.
Due to some unfortunate turn of events, he had to part ways with her as soon as he finishes college because of which he would go on a self-destruction mode. How life takes him forward from such a miserable state to building a startup aimed at curbing suicides forms the rest of the story.
Riding high on emotions while emphasizing the role of family during crisis time, the novel illustrates the theme of how a father is looked up to as a real hero by his son.

About the author:

Vamshi Krishna spends most of his time writing – code or stories. He says he is a software engineer by chance and a writer by choice. Apart from writing, he reads a lot about cricket, love, women, and stories of failures. He is also a fitness enthusiast and a huge fan of MS Dhoni.He says his 4 year journey at IIT-BHU is the best time of his life. He strongly believes that every student, for at least a couple of years in his early 20s should experience hostel life.’Nobody dies a virgin, life fucks everyone’ is the motto he believes in.’Zero Not Out’ is his debut fiction novel and prior to this, he authored a coding related book. This novel is inspired by his real-life incidents (and accidents).

My take on the book:

Varun Krishna is pitching his startup idea about an app that helps avert suicidal thoughts through personal coaching to prospective investors while his father is undergoing a major surgery back home. Varun reminisces his journey so far, how he transformed from the young lad hailing from a middle class family in Hyderabad, cracking the prestigious IIT-JEE exam and getting admission in IIT-BHU where he choses Civil engineering as his discipline. Varun’s life was filled with studies, parents and cricket till Nitya Iyer, enters his life. Its love at first sight for Varun as he pursues Nitya in his own forth right style.

The rest of the story is about how Varun sails through his adolescent years handling the hectic study schedule at IIT, hostel life with friends, cricket and his love Nitya, figuring out career choices. The story also traces how life can be unpredictable and seemingly cruel at times and how Varun falls and rises in life, how life teaches him valuable lessons and how he ultimately shapes his personal and professional life.

The story is a realistic and practical account tracing the life of Varun who could well be any common boy in this country, with very simple dreams and goals. The story backdrop of IIT filled with romance, studies, chasing career goals might sound cliched as an idea because of the number of books centered around this theme in recent times. However, what makes the book endearing is the way the author narrates Varun’s story with honesty and in a way which can be related by the majority. However, after an impressive first half, the narration suffers due to unnecessary sequences and a complete change in Varun’s persona. While his pain and sorrow are justified, I couldn’t find reason for certain scenes towards the end like the abrupt introduction and end of the character Sneha as she does not play any role in transforming Varun.

The story also seems rushed towards the end with Varun’s character changing dynamically every few pages. With better editing and better second half, the story could have been more entertaining. Also, the author tried to include too many issues and situations in the second half, which could have been better phased out. Pick this one for a story with equal doses of romance and message around engineering studies, peer pressure and navigating through life in the face of adversities.

My rating:


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