Book Review: Child/God (Ketan Bhagat)

Book Review: Child/God (Ketan Bhagat)

Title: Child/God

Author: Ketan Bhagat

Genre: Fiction/Contemporary

Publisher: Rumor Books India

Chapters: 74

Pages: 351

Price: INR 299.00

ISBN: 978-81-92953-24-3

Rating: 5.0/5.0

Book Review

The moment I heard about this book “Child/God” the first impression that I portrayed in my mind was a book about the relationship between a child and father. An imaginary series of events lined-up in my nerves about the ways of raising a child and revering the pristine soul like a God. I had prefixed it as the only subject and concern of the book. But, the things came out far different that were beyond the reach of my imagination and comprehension. Landing to an outlying platform beyond one’s customary approach the author has proved his outlandish perspicacious writing skills that have left me stunned and amazed.

I was very eagerly waiting for the book and the day when it arrived it inundated my senses. Yeah, the overwhelming size of the book surprised me as it did not match with any other book that I had in my bookshelf. Probably the author and the publisher must have customarily done this to keep the book precise within the range of 350 pages. Otherwise, it would have become a bulky edition, but no doubt it is. This was one of the several reasons that I took too much time out of my hectic work schedule to finish it up. When I was through with the book it didn’t let me stop reading till I reached the last page.

Coming to the subject, unlike the title “Child/God” the actual story doesn’t only talks about the child, yet he remains the epicenter of the fiction. The story starts building with the character sketches of Raghav Malhotra (the protagonist), Rishi Malhotra (elder brother), Seema Ji (mother) and Colonel Malhotra (father). He portrays it as a middle-class family living in a tenement at Naraina Vihar, Delhi. The way of upbringing the duo, the difference in their treatment at home, attachment & detachment with relatives and an unmatched assessment of the lifestyle of Dolly aunty etc. are some of the numerous factors that lay down the platform for the story.

Raghav a cricket fanatic, weak in studies, good for nothing and totally gone case would have always been found dominated by the most venerated, indigenous, born-smart, first shot IIT cracker Rishi Malhotra and rest of his family. One day the prestigious IIT and IIM degree holder becomes the top notch bestseller storyteller to whom every Indian loved, admired and adored. Rishi Malhotra becomes the most influential fiction writer and a celebrity of India.

Apart from the glittering five-star success of Rishi the story gradually develops around the multiple pivots about Raghav Malhotra’s usual life. His professional career at Abacus, the not ever viable Superdata deal, his family, his relationship with his wife Leela, her struggling business of yoga classes in Powai and, of course, his everlasting passion for becoming a writer, no doubt, not as successful as Rishi. The issues definitely raise reader’s interest especially when he reveals the untouched facets from the life of a celebrity writer.

The first phase of the book, although the book is not divided according to phases, Raghav experiences failures on all the fronts of his life. His brother doesn’t help him becoming a writer, he becomes the worst performer in Abacus and his marital relationship with Leela comes to a verge of breaking up. Remaining boozed up in liquor and spending nights in the Kamathipura’s brothels become a part of his daily night routine.

Then comes the day when the planetary positions start settling up in favor of Raghav, but the story is not at all about fate and astrological predictions. Things are not done of its own they are executed. The meeting of a heavily drunk Raghav with Swamy Balraj during the Mumbai – Delhi flight followed by the arrival of the God himself in the divine form of Ish, his son, introduces a wave of change in his life. Though, it didn’t turn out to be an instantaneous change rather a series of gradual transformations that start settling all his troubles both in his personal and professional life.

Sometimes I feel that he has written a real story that is based on his life. But, I am not sure to what extent it is inspired and if it is then I would say that he has really done a challenging job. The narrative style of the fiction doesn’t let the reader feel if he has been reading an amateur author. After Complete Convenience this is his second novel.

Inspired by the thick orange book he has really penned down a well-gripping story that teaches us the basic difference between the push & pull theory of life. Every aspect that he has touched or narrated in fact he has utilized at an appropriate place in the fiction. If you really want to read something out of the box then I must say you must pickup this book and after going through it, you could decide to keep it in the unputdownable or the real-page-turner category. The usual, successful and a happy ending story has yet left with an accepted open challenge proclaiming that his battle has not yet come to an end. Yes, the Mahabharata is on.

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