Title: Story of Tublu
Author: Jahid Akhtar
Publisher: Lifi Publications, New Delhi, 2015
Pages: xii + 204 Price: Rs200
Cover: Beginning with the outward appearance of the book, the cover looks genuinely enthralling. A boy and girl, probably Tanmay alias Tublu and Sujata alias Maina, walking hand in hand and a diorama of some place, in all likelihood, Maina’s hometown in the state of Assam.
At the same time, the title is equally appealing and really ties in to the cover picture. The moment I came across the cover for the first time, I made my mind of reading it there itself.
Blurb: Devastated by floods, Bipin and his little boy Tublu move to a faraway land, where they meet the Sharmas. This marks the beginning of a long and enduring relationship between Bipin and the Sharmas, and the growing friendship of their children Tublu and Maina. The book captures the journey of this friendship through childhood to adolescence and into adulthood. From some interesting school and college humor, the story progresses on and develops into a mature narrative. As years pass, Tublu’s plain and silent crush on Maina develops into deep love and longing which bears the potential to conquer all of life’s challenges. The story has its share of drama, that entertains; humor that makes one reminisce; love, friendship and emotions that define the amazing journey that is, life.
After sharing his moments-of-delight over his blog for a few years, this is Jahid Akhtar’s debut novel. In spite of that, the author has done all the justice to the story. As the story sets out with Tublu and his father wandering in search of some ray of hope, they come across Mr. Sharma who is the Principal of a renowned school who turns their godparent at every turn, that is to say for food, shelter, job for Bipin, not forgetting Tublu’s education which further leads to a better future later in the story.
Tublu and Maina share a keen bonding ever since their childhood. And though his feelings for her had always been more than mere friendship, but he doesn’t shares his heart out until long. Later, as they leave the place for higher studies, a perfect comparison of their lives has been made. Meanwhile, Maina’s brother, Paplu gets a job in the US and eventually decides to settle there and gets married to Michelle.
There are also numerous friends, likely the true ones, which Tublu makes all through the story demonstrating how a human’s relationship with someone can bring a vital change in their lives. Life is indeed a journey with its shares of ups and downs. Mr. Sharma develops cancer and the entire story takes a big twist there. Everyone is shattered and compromise their happiness to his only to find their problems multiply in the later part of the story that also includes Maina’s marriage to another guy she doesn’t really feels for.
This story is a wonderful rollercoaster ride from puerility, childhood infatuations, innocent talks, the love disease, hesitations, college and hostel life, drawing together to one’s parents, to being adults and eventually being parents themselves in the span of 204 pages, which makes it a perfect read for people of all age groups.
The writing was simple beyond words. And that’s what makes it a fast moving, light and easy to digest story one can easily enjoy it in a single sitting. Everyone, at some point of time, finds himself reading his very own story. Every time Tublu hesitated to talk his heart out to Maina, I could feel a gulp stuck in my throat.
PS. I know I’m not the first one to say this but, yup, avoid the ‘Forward’ or you already would have read a couple of spoilers thus damaging the eagerness which would have served a better suspense.
About the Author: Jahid Akhtar is a software developer by profession. He was born and brought up in Assam and resides in Bangalore with his wife, Anjali and their little daughter, Jia. Jahid enjoys writing about some unforgettable moments in his blog titled Flashbacks.
My GOODREADS rating is 4 out of 5 and I’m so glad I read it.
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Do let me know how you felt about it. FEEDBACK appreciated!!