If you have read even a couple of my blog posts, you will know one thing for sure — I am a die-hard book-lover. So when I heard of BlogAdda’s fascinating book review program , where they ask bloggers to review books on their blog, I was thrilled. When I was chosen to review the romantic novel, ‘TMS: That’s My Story’ by Vinay Mashalkar, my excitement knew no bounds. Romance is one of my absolutely favourite genres! But the book evoked mixed reactions in me…
TMS reads like a teenager’s diary. It records in explicit detail the story of Vikram, an IT professional working in Bangalore. He is a typical Indian bachelor who spends his weekdays working, and his weekends drinking ‘booze’ with his friends. His parents are the traditional conservative Indian parents. His mother asks him to visit a temple on the first day of his job, and his father gives him a hard time over his paltry pay check. In a way, Vikram’s story is every Indian middle-class guy’s story. It is easy to connect to, and I went through a lot of GoodReads and Flipkart reviews of the book, and every one of them praise it for it’s simplicity and say that it is very easy to connect to.
But here is a couple of things you should not expect from the book:
- Proper English and Grammar: I don’t know whether it was intentional or not, but the book is written in a colloquial style; long sentences with redundant grammar were a little too common for my liking. Here is a sample: In the night, I was debating with myself whether it is worth waking up early in the morning only to see her and getting disappointed, if she does not turn up. However, when it comes to matters like this, guys are more optimistic about it than anything else in their life. If the author was trying to replicate the authenticity of the Indian English slang, he succeeded marvelously.
- A Line Between ‘Love’ and ‘Lust’: In true filmy style, our hero falls in love with the girl on first sight from his balcony during monsoon. Immediately he knows she is ‘The One’ (as Ted Mosby would say). He obsesses over her, stalks her, but of course in the end wins her over, because ‘true love’ and all that. The narrator however goes to great lengths to prove that it is not only the girl’s looks that makes him ‘fall in love’ with her: She was very beautiful, but it was not just her beauty that caught my attention, it was her overall charismatic personality that attracted me towards her. Because it is very easy to gauge a stranger’s personality from a distance, right?! Also, in the very start of the book, we meet Vikram’s friend and colleague Swami, who as the author very succinctly puts it loved ogling at girls. A very noble hobby, indeed!
Well, I guess once you get over those two facts, the book doesn’t make for a very bad read, a little tedious maybe, but it’s simplicity is touching. You do feel Meghna and Vikram’s pain. The author manages to draw a neat little web with his words and draw you in. It shall appeal to a wide audience, but I am not a member of that group.
Any book takes a lot of hard work to write, and Vinay Mashalkar’s efforts are evident in the narrative. The cliches are at places overpowering though, and seems ridiculous and unnecessary. A good first effort but could be much better.