Chasing the Dream

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The phone rings again. He decides to ignore it again. He had already deliberately avoided picking up her call for last three times today.  But suddenly, he changes his mind and picks up her call this time.

Hey, what’s up? Not picking my calls?

(Decides to make the excuse that never fails) Nothing much, was sleeping and phone was in silent mode.

Oh… ok, thanks for the huge favor. I would like to get rid of this debt as soon as possible. I would like to hand over the check tomorrow.  So, we are meeting tomorrow, right?

Can’t you do an online transfer?

Man! You are so strange. Not long back, you kept proposing dates for meeting with me, and now, you are acting so reluctant to meet!

(Laughs… and makes another excuse) It is just that I am too lazy and don’t feel like stepping out of house on Sundays.

(Laughs) Don’t make excuses. I shall see you at 7.

Okay. See you tomorrow then.

Although, he disconnects the call, her pleasant laugh still keeps ringing in his head and his thoughts drifts down the memory lane to the pleasant childhood memories associated with this laugh.  Those were the days. He is snapped back to present by the striking of wall clock signaling that it was the 3rd stroke of the night. He wonders why he is so reluctant to meet her now. And he doesn’t have to ponder upon it, as he knew very well why.

He wishes he could confess to her that she was her childhood crush. He wishes he could confess that she was always like a dream – not the dream that one chases, but the dream that one likes to dream of. Like the dream one dreams of how cool it would be if one had an invisibility cloak or one had super-powers like superman, but one doesn’t chase such dreams (at least he didn’t and he heard those who chase such dreams, end up getting hurt jumping from rooftops). She wasn’t aware of his existence in reality then and he wasn’t aware of her existence beyond his dreams.  And it was a blissful co-existence in which he associated all the attributes (like elegance, compassion, innocence, humor etc.) that he wished in a Dream to her.

Although the years rolled by, this Dream stayed with him like the other dreams that he didn’t chase, as such dreams don’t shatter because you don’t chase them. And when she appeared in his dreams, a few months ago, in that usual coffee shop setting, he was so certain that he was in dreamland that he dared to go talk to her (for he gathered such courage only in his dreams) and they kept talking as they always did in that usual coffee shop setting and the usual scene where they both really meet for first time and they exchanged contact numbers at the end. However, this dream appeared different to him from the other usual dreams.  However, he ignored that thought and continued to live as if it was yet another dream until the day he got a call that dawned upon him the reason why that dream was different.

(to be contd.)

Love, Life & all that Jazz : Book Review

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Love, Life & all that Jazz, a book written by Ahmed Faiyaz, as the title suggests is a book that through its plot and characters touches the delicate issues of modern times like Love, Career, Relationship, Family, Dreams, Money, the associated complications and all that jazz which orchestrate the choices and the decisions we take in our life. Although, the book covers so many different issues, the flowing narrative ensures that you wouldn’t feel that an issue has been abruptly introduced into the storyline. The storyline revolves around a group of college friends – how their life changes after graduation, how their career paths makes it tough for them to find time to hang out more often, how the relationships in their life turn out to complicate their life even more, how they try to balance work and life and how their life goes on despite all that jazz.

The lead characters of this novel are Tanveer, Sameer, Vikram and Tania. One could easily relate to one of these characters or in part with a few of them. In the first scene, all of them meet up over a cup of chai. As their discussion unfolds and with the help of narration, we get an insight into how these characters differ in their background and how different their priorities in Life is.

Tanveer hailed from a small town Sholapur and his middle-class family had very orthodox values. His family expected their son to share their economic burden. Tanveer worked hard to meet their expectations. In contrast to Tanveer, others belonged to affluent families. Others had different priorities like establishing their career as soon as possible. Unlike Tanveer, Vikram belonged to a modern family in which his parents shared the house but not their lives. He had a carefree attitude in life so far in college. However, he was now thinking seriously about what he wanted to do in his life. The only thing he was sure about was that he didn’t want to join his dad’s business. Sameer and Tania had been in a serious relationship since college days. However, with Sameer planning to leave to study abroad for MBA, they were worried about how they would be able to maintain their long-distance relationship while establishing their careers.

The book has been divided into 31 chapters grouped together into six parts namely Change, Together, Falling Apart, Another Life, Love and Longing and Living your Dreams. Over these six parts, the author narrates how the unexpected events unfold in the life of these central characters which shatter them emotionally, then how they pick themselves up and try to get along with life and how finally at the end, the roller-coaster ride in life seems to be heading towards a happy ending for everyone.

The author has also touched some of the existing stark realities in our society like opposition to inter-religion marriages, the casting couch issue in film industry, racism faced by Asians in foreign countries and overloading the employee at work. The events and characters described in the novel are very real-life and relatable, and hence, it strikes a chord with the reader instantly. The language used throughout the book is simple and very casual, and goes along well with the pacey narrative.

I find the book to be a good, breezy read that gives you an insight into the common issues of modern times. Although, one may argue that despite all the issues depicted in the lives of central characters, finally the book ends with a stereotypical ‘happy ending’. However, I feel it would be wrong to put away this book as just another Indian author’s book where in the end ‘All is Well’, as sometimes the optimism is a realistic need in our lives.

(This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books. This was my 4th book review for Blogadda :))


Reading Time: 1


Dad: Son, I wish to give you an advice regarding Love.

Son: Umm… okay?

Dad: If you love someone really, even if she belongs to different religion, you shouldn’t hesitate to bring your proposal regarding her to me. I wasn’t brave enough to face my folks due to the fear of attracting their wrath over this sensitive inter-religion marriage issue.

Son: Hmm… Does Mom knows about this?

Dad: No!

Son: Shall I tell Mom about this?

Dad: Nooo!

Son: Will you increase my daily allowances?

Dad: Noooo!

Son: No?

Dad: Oh.. I meant yes, of course. How much?

Son: 50% increase.

Dad: Shit! What the f..!

Son: Dad, you shouldn’t abuse before your children. It would set a wrong impression on their young, impressionable minds.

(PS: Advice to parents: Sometimes, it’s advisable not to act too friendly with your kids.)