Monday, August 23, 2010

The Journey of Om by Chandru Bhojwani

The Journey of Om was an interesting book.

The Journey of Om

The book centers around Om - a twenty-something guy who has been cheated upon at the beginning of the book by someone he thought of as a soul mate. The story goes on to show us his trials and tribulations while trying to get out of this heart-break. He is aided by his friends, especially Mona and Arun, and through the book we get a little glimpse into their lives and loves as well (and according to me both of these characters provide the most engrossing storyline in the book, especially Mona). The book is interspersed with observations on life and love and is in its essence a book about growing up, about learning, about dealing with loss, about how life isn't always fair, and about how complex and confusing love can really be.

Personally I felt that this book began slowly, but it really picked up pace half-way through, when Arun and Mona's storylines started to gain a little more prominence in the book. Some of the stuff that I really liked about this book were the "From the Mind of Om" chapters, where Om is writing for his magazine in his highly witty and humorous style, on topics that all of us can sympathize with (like the chapter on Aunties - which was frankly hilarious and spot-on) and the fact that the story is written through multiple points-of-view which help us see the motivations of nearly everyone in the story (except Preeti, the girl who actually cheated on Om and started the story - I would've liked to see one or two chapters in her perspective, though honestly she doesn't get much screen-space anyway) and though sometimes the transitions between past and present get a little confusing, you can mostly understand them, because of the fact that the author puts a chapter break in between them.

I think the chapters in different points of view really work as far as the development of the characters is concerned, especially Om. I mean, about until one Arun chapter, I had the feeling that Om was pretty much perfect, which can get very disconcerting. However, as you move on in the book and see Om and his many flaws, you actually enjoy the book a lot more, because in the end Om is very human, he makes mistakes, he can be quite insensitive, and you feel at the end of the book that you know Om a little bit, and that he almost becomes like a close friend whose struggles you have been observing. The other minor characters are also well-written, and I especially liked the Mona-Sunil dynamics and the Arun-Rakhi dynamics - and also the dynamics within Rakhi's family.

One thing about books that are too much like reality that I don't like is that they tend to wrap up the ending a little too neatly, and I always end up feeling that that would never happen in real life. And frankly, I had the feeling this was going to happen here too. But the ending is truly amazing, it leaves you guessing and it is bittersweet - just like real life. I think I read the last chapter two or three times, thinking, 'Oh my god, did this just happen?!'

It did.

Final thoughts: An enjoyable read, goes from hilarious to tragic, and explores the different facets of real life. Read for the characters and the true-to-life approach.
(Check out this new, updated cover!) 

(Financial disclosure: Book source was the author.) 


  1. get this book to school(its urs right?) whenever u read this post :)it seems interesing!


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