Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

The Bluest Marble By Vipin Kumar

“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.

[av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′ font=’entypo-fontello’]

URL:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/books/features/Book-Review-The-Bluest-Marble/articleshow/38925729.cms

Source : The Times Of India Life Edition 26 Jan 2015

[av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′ font=’entypo-fontello’]

 

The Bluest Marble
By Vipin Kumar
Review by Nandhini

Yet another energetic write-up of man’s search for meaning!
The Plot
Aditya Saxena lives a quite decent life as an investment banker with a loving girlfriend and nice friends in the most happening city of Mumbai until one day:
when he finds himself thrown out of the company because of his boss’ clever politics
when he finds his girl friend’s secret relationship with another man
when he realizes that friends are helpful but not to the extent he had expected them to
when Mumbai can no longer accommodate him jobless
when he realizes his parents don’t trust him now after all of the above
That’s when he runs away from home to end his life wherein mysteriously he gets to land in a mental asylum. Being identified as an amnesia patient, he makes new acquaintances with a former CEO, a software engineer and a doctorate in theoretical physics, all of who are patients as well who have reached this place after abandonment or life’s realistic situations. The little lessons he learns from his new company and the incidents at the mental asylum help him find what he had been searching all his life – The Bluest Marble
What’s that Bluest Marble?
is it always about loving your friends & family? – the tag line of the title.
Aditya grew, graduated, found a job, earned – just like any ordinary person. In the process he put all the little things his little heart wished for to a little corner, the very fist being a blue marble he had seen a boy playing with, while he was two or three years old. The boy wouldn’t give the marble to him, that made him decide on a wish, “when I grow up, I will get millions and millions of such marbles.” From there he began planting in his garden of hope; only planting but couldn’t nurture them further as he got busy fulfilling the dreams of people around him.
As a result of the accumulation of years of such seedlings, here he was in a mental hospital, having nothing that belonged to him, to his heart – in a true sense. When one day, he becomes aware of the real problem he was facing – the forgotten hopes, he restarts his whole life again, seeking the blue marble first.
Thoughtful Concept
 The concept the title has brought about is warm and thoughtful. There are several such little bluest marbles in all of our lives. Those sadly forgotten hopes and dreams could get a revival through this book. The book has the potential to influence the readers on what went missing in their lives.
The Reading Experience
 The book does well in bringing out emotions well. There could be a couple of places where the reader could get emotionally moved like when he returns back to his parents’ home hopeless – what he calls as the hospital for the hurt souls. And one can feel how the last few pages are written with the true spirit of the title’s story. A few excerpts from the book that I admired:
  • Our destiny, what we are, what we will become in life, each and every action of ours can all be tracked back to a single thought. The origin of that thought is, more often than not, a simple realization. (Page 244)
  • There is a reason we are born as little children and not as adults, so that we can imbibe the world in the most amazing and innocent way. (Page 245)
  • With every plus one in my age, one of my plantlets would die. It was simple – with each growing year I was tending the only plant which overlapped with the dreams of my parents and the society I lived in, namely becoming an engineer. (Page 247)
(As a reader, I have taken the liberty to include these few lines from the book. If it violates any of the publisher’s or author’s rights, please write to me, I am willing to take them off).

Aditya’s life at Mumbai went a little longer. There could be some logical non-syncs at some places like the bike scenes. But considering the vastness of the meaning the book involves, they need to be overlooked.Coincidentally, both the theme and the storyline of the book strikingly resembles Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die.

As a debutant, author Vipin has shown a bold confidence in language and theme.

Reviewed for BecomeShakespeare.com
 
Title: The Bluest Marble
Author:  Vipin Kumar
Publisher: BecomeShakespeare.com
Pages: 264
 
Author Connect
 
Buy Online
Book Blurb
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.

Book Review – The Bluest Marble

Author – Vipin Kumar

Publisher – BecomeShakespeare.com

Genre –Fiction/Urban Life

Pages – 264

Price – Rs.249

Sneak from the cover

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.

The Cover

A lone tree sans any leaves make for the simple cover. But there is also blue marble (kancha) sitting pretty on one of the branches. Makes me wonder…no matter how sad things are, there is always a ray of hope.

The words below the title somehow confuse me, “Is it always about loving your friend and family?” I open the book to read why the author feels so.

My View

The book begins with the fast pace life of amchi Mumbai. An investment banking job worth flaunting, a luxurious living, a bachelor pad with college friends Rakesh and Jitu, a mean machine, who well, does more than just transport Aditya’s life was at bloom with happiness. Then slowly, autumn strikes and the leaves start falling. Still not recovered by the heartbreak from a lost love, his career faces the wrath of a turbulent economy and he loses his job. It is then that he realises the utopian world he had been happy with was somewhat a fallacy. That his friends had been just “the friends in good times”.

Aditya also has a strange tendency to hallucinate. So after every few pages, you see him hallucinating about his ex girlfriend or even with his bike. While it is tolerable the first few times, the dragged dialogues with no value addition prompt the reader to flip the next page and find something meaningful in the story.

The next part of the story shows Aditya running away from his dismal present to find solace. But the more he runs, the noisier it gets in the mind. There is a very detailed account of his home in Adarsh Nagar in Delhi. And by detailed description, there is so much of it that at one point, I wondered if the author belongs to that place and has got emotional while penning down the debut. If not, a crispier account too would have been welcome.

Peace and self realisation finally comes calling, not in the company of loved ones, but alas, in a mental hospital in the company of fellow patients. Well, that’s the irony of life! How? The review doesn’t offer spoilers so read the book to know more. It is here that the story takes a serious turn, and you empathise with Aditya. I really liked the description of Aditya’s self discovery under a keekar tree, akin to Buddha’s enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. But just when I wanted a detailed account, I see a hurry to draw the curtains. The discovery of the secret to happiness and the discovery of bluest marble is all so concise that I wondered what suddenly happened that had not happened in the last 250 odd pages. Then the last few pages show the sudden transformation and good times, like the climax of a regular Hindi movie!

Overall, I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the author to try something different in the debut itself. Hope, the expression will improve book by book.

What I loved about the book

Despite the few shortcomings, I recommend the book for a good attempt at a different flavour. The book will at some point make you think about your life too, the ups and downs that went by and the blue marble that each of us can find within us.

What could have been better  

The hallucinations with the ex girlfriend and the dialogues with the bike get over after a point. The Delhi darshan account could have been crispier and much more time could have spilled over to the actual crux of the story in the climax.

My rating

3/5  

About the Author

After co-authoring award winning plays at IIT Bombay and penning numerous unpublished stories and poems, this is Vipin Kumar’s maiden attempt at being published. With a passion to tell an “honest story”, Vipin actually admitted himself in a hospital to do justice to the hospital episode in the book!

Hope to read more good works by you Vipin.

This review is for BecomeShakespeare.com. The views are strictly my own and under no influence.

 

I always like a book with a cover or title that forces me to guess what the story could be about before I read the blurb. The Bluest Marble was a book that had both…an interesting cover and a very interesting title. As soon as I read the title, the wheels of my mind started rolling…what could the book be about…maybe a tragic childhood..you know we usually play with marbles as kids or maybe the book has a supernatural angle. Finally when I had thought about every possible story that could revolve around a blue marble, I finally started reading the book. Was I able to guess the story or did the book surprise me completely? Read on to find out 🙂

The Bluest Marble
by Vipin Kumar
Review by Aprajita

The book is Aditya, a boy who comes from a very humble family in Delhi. He has a good job as an investment banker, a bike he loves and this typical bachelors pad that he shares with his college buddies, Rakes and Jitu. All is well, until he falls in love only to loose the girl, then loose his job, followed by loosing the friends he had and finally loosing the respect and support he had from his family.
Aditya finally rediscovers himself in a place where he least expects to- a mental hospital. I will not go into too much detail but this is truly the best part of the book. He realises what he need to do and makes amends and gets his life back on track.
I absolutely loved the narrative and the attempt he made at writing a different story. The narrative does become a little slow at places but overall the book maintains a good pace. Character development is decent. The only thing that I did not like about the book were the conversations that Aditya had with his bike and when he was hallucinating about his ex girlfriend as they become repetitive and boring. However, the book and the story recovers towards the end and that is another high point of the book.
I would say that the book is good one time read. The author does have a brilliant mind in terms of coming up with a different idea however the execution part needs a little improvement for the writing to have the desired effect. The writing is good but brevity is missing and I am hoping that I would see a more crisp narration in the next book.

The Bluest Marble
By Vipin Kumar
Review by Natasha Borah Khan
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.
MY THOUGHTS:
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.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Publish Now