If Then Else by Sandhya Ranganathan
My take on the book:
Karthik, a software engineer in Bengaluru, India, whose life is turned upside down when he is laid off from his job. Forced to make a difficult decision about his future, Karthik finds himself split into three versions of himself, each living a different life in a different parallel universe.
The three Karthiks follow vastly different paths. One Karthik remains in Bengaluru and starts his own company. Another Karthik moves to the United States to work for a tech giant. And the third Karthik drops everything and goes to the Himalayas to live a simple life.
As the story unfolds, we see how each Karthik’s choices shape his life in diverse ways. He experiences love, loss, success, and failure in different universes. And through it all, he learns more about himself and what it means to live a meaningful life.
The author deftly weaves together humor, suspense, and philosophical musings to create a page-turning narrative that explores themes of regret, destiny, and the meaning of life. Karthik’s encounters with his alternate selves challenge his perceptions of himself and the world around him, forcing him to confront the consequences of his decisions and the impact they have on his relationships and happiness.
Despite the fantastical elements, the story remains grounded in relatable human emotions. Karthik’s struggles with unemployment, insecurity, and the fear of the unknown resonate with readers, making his journey of self-discovery even more poignant.
The author’s writing style is engaging and witty, with a keen eye for capturing the nuances of Indian culture and everyday life. The characters are well-developed and relatable, adding depth and authenticity to the story.
At the end, the story will leave readers pondering the infinite possibilities of life and the profound impact of our choices. This a must-read for fans of speculative fiction and those seeking a deeper understanding of their own lives.