Book Review: The Storm In My Mind

Part of Debut Indian Writers Challenge 2013



Novels which deal with and describe places of my very own city of Kolkata, always intrigue me. They produce an indistinguishable sense of déjà vu.  Given its rich historical parentage, the city never fails to fascinate writers , even when it does not happen to be their hometown. But if it is, then in most cases, a writer’s  debut novel undoubtedly is based on/in the city of Kolkata.

So it is of little surprise that Ayaan Basu’s first novel , The Storm In My Mind…: Ami , Kolkata and Confessions, is based in his hometown, which is definitely a character in his petit  work of fiction. It is a bitter–sweet love triangle between its central character, Aryan Roy, his sweetheart who stands by him for years , Anushka Banerjee and the latter’s friend Kaira. The story starts in 2007, right in the midst of a graveyard shift, so named because these are basically night shifts of call centres of reputed companies. Aryan Roy , twenty-two years of age, final year student of Information Technology at National Institute of Technology, is currently working as a Senior Associate in Wipro Info-tech , Salt Lake , Sector five, for the last two years. He chances across Anushka Banerjee, final year student of Ballygunge Shiksha Sadan, through one of the chat rooms of Yahoo Messenger. “Apart from studies and tuitions, I also used to be a part of a band named ‘Driftwood’. I was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for this band.” Here the reader wonders whether the book is partly autobiographical. Because Ayaan, the author, had himself been a singer/guitarist for a Kolkata based rock band .

Like all teenage romances, there is eventual breaking up and then, “Like a deer getting caught helplessly by four or five tigers together, I too got caught in Kaira’s million dollar trustworthy charms,” so says Aryan. It is a tussle of a heart between two hearts!

The Storm In My Mind…is a book about and dwelling on friendship. It is a recommended read for a lazy Sunday. Pick it up and finish it in one go. There is nothing cerebral being offered nor promised.  Aimed at young readers, the book should find its place amid those young and romantic at heart. Though on the flip side the book seems to be a free flowing account of endless partying. Being a dweller of the city, I felt the book to be a fantastical rendition of emotional loves prevailing in the city of Kolkata.The cover design impresses. The picture of sepia–tinted rickshaw in front of dilapidated windows, sets the tone and mood for this work of fiction, unique to the city of Kolkata.

Author: Ayaan Basu
Pages: 158
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 3.5 of 5
Reviewed for: Publisher

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