Midlife crisis and existential crisis in your late 20s is a real thing. Don’t believe me? Go read Siddharth Tripathi’s Blowfish.
Every one of us has had days when we question the very purpose of our life. What are we doing? Why are we slogging the way we are? What is it that we really want to do? What is our calling? If this is something that you do too, you’ll know that there is nothing in this world that can beat the vagueness of the answers to these questions. One among is us Siddharth’s lead, Mukund Bhandari.
One fine day, Mukund decides to quit his job and start writing his own novel. He aspires to become a bestselling author and is convinced that this is the way to do that. Grass is greener on the other side and all that jazz! So, he quits. And that is the only part of his plan that he manages to accomplish successfully.
If you want to read the entire blurb, you can check it out here.
Blowfish reads like a series of diary entries that now look like a story. Which isn’t a bad thing. The story progresses linearly, with no ‘life-altering’ twists and turns. It is a story that is simple at heart, something that is probably born from the author’s own experiences or those of the people around him. Mukund could be you, me, or the guy sitting in the cubicle next to you.
Blowfish is Mukund’s recollection, because the story is in first person, of the various funny and some not so funny episodes he finds himself in after he quits his job. Like one night, in a drunken stupor, he buys a Macbook. Only to have it stolen even before he can take it home. His flatmate Chaddha and friend Sampu are a part of this journey too. The biggest pain in Mukund’s life is Colonel Harpal, the secretary of the housing society, who decidedly makes life difficult for him.
The story does not try to be preachy, harping about why one needs to follow one’s heart and how jobs and mundane lifestyles are for the weak-hearted. And that’s what makes it an interesting read. After I finished the book, the only thing I had was a smile on a story that was written well. No layers, no lines to read between. In my opinion, this is a story from the author’s heart meant to reach the reader’s heart. And that it does.
A simple vocabulary and interesting characters, like Bumbum, make it a light read, much better than a lot of other novels in this space.
A special mention to the cover of the book! The amazing illustration was the first thing that prompted me to pick this book for review. Sometimes, maybe, you can judge a book by its cover!
My Two Cents
Today, all of us live an Instagram-inspired life. It takes no time to be influenced by what other people show us of their lives. What we don’t stress upon enough though is the keyword here—show. We are often driven by the passion of others, believing it to be our own because it pleases the eye and awes the mind.
While it is a good thing to be inspired by the good in others and there is nothing wrong in trying to have a life that looks good on Instagram, we need to understand that there is more to life than this. That deciding to settle down for a job and money isn’t a bad thing, just like quitting everything and following your heart. All we need to do is learn to strike a balance and everything in life will then become Instagram-worthy!
A 4/5 for this one!
I got a free review paperback of this book from Sneha Khaund of Bloomsbury India, in exchange of an honest review. The views herein are my own.
Thank you Sneha Khaund and Bloomsbury India for this opportunity. Loved this book!