Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Book Journey: You are the Best Wife (Ajay K Pandey)

A quick foreword in confessional honesty: This is my first ever commissioned book-review, and my approach was, well... As much as I was eager just before turning the first page, I was skeptical no less once I had done so, actually. It is someone’s first (only?) book, and is about – no wait, IS – a personal, live journal, a journey of existence till date. And more, it was a story of loss a loss of life, of his wife. And it reads like… it does! You see my reasons!

The book opened and began in a very five point someone style (Oh yes, I read it!). It spoke about the high school career threshold - the dreaded tug of ability and aspiration, moving on to the gateway - the admission process into Engineering college, warming up to ragging in hands of almighty seniors, et al almost in a similar way. Thereafter too, it quite follows the same, worn out in use trail – boy meets girl, fall in something they then call love, move along in life - together. A couple of years of hostel stay followed by a brief while of long-distance, marriage suggestions, caste differences and adequate scoops of “2 States” to a happy ending later, the story (and language too, almost) bears a very strong connotation of… well, you know what (rather, who?). It rises, falls and paves its path over the surface of incidents that are very, very commonplace - taking place just like they always do.


However – and here’s why you should read “You’re the Best Wife!” is – it only wishes it’d be as commonplace as it sounded like. But no, it had its fate written in a different ink already. And thus, a happy ending later, just where you expect an even-after to come and the story to close down comes something that should never had come. Merely a few months into the second wedding anniversary, surrounded with baby talks and happy nothings of a happy marital bliss - it suddenly, abruptly and as unprepared as you might be despite the back-cover warnings – it becomes a time to say goodbye, and how!

And then, after five a point and two a state comes in the real “Love Story”. We – the very us who once wept nights over the Barrett III and Barrette IV embrace over the “once beautiful, now dead” Jennifer – we cannot but be reminded of the wrenching pain of that scene being played over, all over. Worse - this time it’s in someone’s real life, and accounted over by the young husband who just lost a young, beautiful, loving wife. Literary mastery aside, rhetoric or rather the lack of it deep - it is still the very pain, the very loss, the very meaning of life or the search for it.

And thus you wear off and pull out your mask of snide and judgment of book-review aside and – just as the story comes to an abrupt end, before you know, just like it always does – you’re somewhere already placed there, in empathy with the author. He is not – anymore – an author, actually; he has already made his place there, beside you. You cannot but want to be his friend, lending him a few sighs over things that neither he nor you have an answer to or will find ever. You cannot but want to wish him – you don’t know what! And you can only, then, look back at your own life – thankful and full of gratitude – for just being at this other end of this book.

“You’re the Best Wife” by Ajay K Pandey is not just a book. It is a journal. It is a catharsis. It is perhaps, also, an ode to hope amidst all lapses of it.

I wish you the very best, Mr. Pandey. May you retain your trust in life. May you be strong enough! And may you continue to believe that the world is very beautiful, still!

#Bookreview - I give this book at 5.5 in a scale of 10.