Book Review: Love, Films and Rock ‘n’ Roll
Love, Films and Rock ‘n’ Roll explores a different track of life far removed from the preconceived ideas of society. The novel seeks to link the present and the past talking about the changing outlook of the young generation on love, films and music and how they rediscover their inherent cultural values through personal trials and tribulations.
The storyline of the novel is simple. Three young men traveling to Kolkata from Jamshedpur on a train meet by a queer quirk of fate. Sameer or Sam, a software professional working in the US, Sunil a FTII graduate who aspires to be a director in Tollywood and Dipankar or Dipsy as he is known who looks into music as a career after he was rusticated from IIT on drug peddling charges. They discover that they have something in common – love for the arts and a desire not to step on the much beaten path. They forge a bond of friendship which lasts a lifetime. Sunil meets Tanya in FTII and falls in love with her. Even after he comes to Kolkata to work for a Bengali film – he cannot forget her and ultimately goes back to Mumbai to be with her and takes up work there. Sam comes to India to look for a typical Indian bride but falls in love with the matchmaker Sonali instead. He goes back to USA but finds that he cannot live without her. He comes back to India to settle down with her. Dips finds himself coming closer to his father after knowing that he had remarried only because his mother was mentally unstable and there was a need for someone to take care of Dips. The book is divided into three parts – Book I deals with the meeting of the three characters and their discovery of their innermost desires, Book II on how they choose their paths and Book III deals with the flowering of their ambitions and a gradual, mature acceptance of the general scheme of life.
The structure of the novel is what demands the reader’s attention. The book is divided into three sections and each section is further divided into small chapters like Dipsy’s Diary :Ghosts from the Past, The Urban Baul, Sunil Eats humble Pie or Sunny Days are there again which aptly describes the frame of mind of the characters or the event. The language is racy and lively befitting the youthful nature of the novel. Though at times the colloquial, blanked expletives become a little exasperating, one cannot complain as the author has to remain true to his characters. They spring right from real life – the anger, the passions, the desire for adventure and helpless love are emotions which any youth would experience. Love, Films and Rock ‘n Roll is a good read. The characters are real and the descriptions vivid. The streets of Kolkata, the bustling crowd and the helpful people, the nooksand corners of the city have been wonderfully depicted. The explanation of the Baul form of music and their philosophy speaks of highly researched content.
Swayam Ganguly should be applauded for presenting a humorous, touching, joyous and inspiring first novel.
I have truly enjoyed reading and reviewing the book.
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