My Name is Not Devdas by Aayush Gupta
Buy here: shorturl.at/ghuwM
My take on the book:
What does the name Devdas remind you of? A classic — novel, theatre piece, movie. There had been multiple versions and re-imaginings of the same story, by different writers and directors. How would Devdas be if he is living in 2023 in Delhi, so are Paro and Chandramukhi, in today’s world is depicted by the author in this book.
Professor Narayan Mukherjee volunteers to sponsor the studies of Paro, who hailed from a financially backward family from Haryana, who earned their livelihood from making stools. He moves along with his son Dev and Paro to Kolkata, however, is soon forced to relocate to Delhi following an unexpected controversy.
Dev believes he is a feminist and is woke, keeps oscillating between being a leftist and right wing sympathiser, meets his friend Chunni lal first at a CAA agitation and later at a pride parade. Dev always had a love-hate relationship with Paro and though Paro confessed her love for Dev, he believes they shouldn’t get married as they both are upper caste Brahmins.
Paro is from a big family who value their pride and honor more than their kids’ life. Paro though aspires to be an entrepreneur. Chandramukhi has taken shelter in Paharganj after fleeing Kashmir, following the arrest of her father as a suspected extremist.
After Paro and Chandramukhi join the same college in Delhi, Chandramukhi starts searching for her father who is now holed in some jail in Delhi and for her mother who has been missing for many years.
As the lives of these three young minds cross in contemporary India, what adventures and tragedies await them, form the rest of the story.
While the names of the main characters match, there is nothing else similar between the classic and this story, in terms of storyline or character dynamics. Each chapter is narrated from the point of view of the three main characters hence alternating between how they perceive situations around them.
The author has given a total creative spin to the story while including many contemporary topics, especially those happening in colleges and universities. The story has total shock value as every sequence is written in totally unexpected manner.
The underlying message conveyed by the author is hard-hitting. There is a certain adrenaline rush and tension through out the book though it’s not a thriller or a action oriented story.
The story begins on a very interesting note and the way the author designed the characters, their backdrops is equally enticing. However, some sequences feel rushed and the characters could have been developed better as by the end of the book I felt they did not reach the potential they showed at the beginning.
If you prefer reading unique and contemporary stories then pick this one, for the sheer creative excellence of the author.
This review is part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program.