Book Review #20: The Bluest Marble

Name: The Bluest Marble
Author: Vipin Kumar
No. of Pages: 264
Genre: Fiction-Urban Life
Price: Rs. 249/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:

Aditya is known as Ram Kumar 125 – a name given to amnesiac patients in a ‘Mental Hospital’. He doesn’t have amnesia; he just doesn’t want to go back to the world he knew before. His inmates include: UT – the brilliant former CEO, Rajesh – software engineer and Jacky – Doctor in theoretical physics. Amongst these ‘crazies’ Ram Kumar 125 discovers himself, the true Aditya, and the secret of happiness. He finds the mysterious and precious “bluest marble” he has been unconsciously looking for all his life.

With portraits that both touch and disturb, corporate politics, Mumbai night life, Dalal Street, lower-middle-class Delhi and psychological “illness”, The Bluest Marble is a sensitive exploration of young urban aspirations and angst in the age of economic turmoil.

About the author:
Vipin Kumar is a guy you wouldn’t really notice in a crowd of three people. His ability to be extraordinarily ordinary combined with his astute observational sense makes him pick the most mundane people existing in our lives and tell their extraordinary stories. His passion to tell an ‘honest story’ can be adjudged by the fact that he admitted himself in a hospital to write the hospital scene in this book. He was an active participant in dramatics during college. He co-authored award winning plays and acted in the best ever drama produced in the history of IIT Bombay called Déjà-vu which dealt with IITian’s loneliness and rising suicide cases within the campus. Prior to this book he has written numerous short stories (unpublished) and poems (in English, Hindi and Hindustani; unpublished). He has an acute interest in psychological disorders which he has harvested to come up with a new disease in the book. His friends of each kind; those who like him and dislike him, have told him that his writing style reminded them of O’Henry and to some extent S H Manto. This is his debut novel.
Cover: The cover shows a tree bearing a marble as a fruit.
Writing: Written in simple English but the author plays with the words which makes it an interesting read.
Story: The story is about Aditya who has a lucrative job but an unhappy personal life. After losing his job due to office politics, he is eventually abandoned by his friends too and then he goes back to be with his family. But when he finds out that his father doesn’t really trust him with his business plan he loses all hope and tries to commit suicide. He ends up in the psychiatric ward of a hospital where he pretends to have lost his memory. It is there that he finally realizes what he really wants from life.
To me, Aditya seemed be a confused person who is too harsh with himself. He seemed like a person who is impatient and lacks insight.His father, an old man, agrees to put at stake his home so that Aditya and his brother can put up a business. But he has his doubts which is quite natutal I feel. But when Aditya learns about it, he is devasted and tries to kill himself. I mean where is the maturity here! I feel the story is not very compelling but it is an enjoyable read. 
I give “The Bluest Marble” 3.5 stars on a scale of 5.

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