Title – Tamasha in Bandargaon
Author – Navneet Jagannathan
Publisher – Tranquebar Press by Westland Ltd.
Genre – Fiction
Pages – 324
ISBN – 9789381626269
The first thing that drew me towards this colorful book was it’s cover. It is a wonderful effort in conveying that the book is full of life and revolves around lives of a vast variety of people held together by one string of living in a suburb in Mumbai called Bandargaon.
In the fictional suburb of Bandargaon, there’s never a quiet moment. It’s a place where love thrives, determination boils, dreams erupt, hopes shatter, desires blossom and action happens to make all these emotions bloom. The centre point of the suburb, Jinias Chai House with it’s famous Masala Chai and the Jaanam Desi bar serve more than being the meeting point of the various characters in the story.
There’s Sunrise Apartments with it’s secretary, guard and a politician fighting battles amongst themselves and with the citizens living in the area. The nearby slum is the home of the help for the apartments in the area. The hillock with it’s temple is the thinking point of many beasts, the laundry in the proximity with a Cinema hall, the illegal gambling hub along with the Ladies association are the source of livelihood, center of plotting and entertainment for the various colorful characters in the story.
As the story begins, the thing that caught my attention were the interesting, comic names the characters have. Most striking among them were Chitrahar the beggar by the temple, Khopdi the street dog and C.Chatri the local contractor who built the apartments in the area. Not only the names but the story itself subtly brought to me the golden days of Doordarshan TV serials like Nukkad, Wagle ki Duniya, Karamchand and the like. Just as we lovingly remember those characters and their antics the same way this book successfully kept me hooked till the last page.
Divided in thirteen chapters like the thirteen episode TV series, it has a different story to tell in each episode. Intricate details of the character and vivid description of their lifestyles adds to the spice that makes it a very interesting read. The lucid language generously peppered with an optimum dose of wry humor had me laughing like a crazy and at times biting my nails in eagerness to find out what lay ahead. The conspiracies, situations and the whole plot is imaginable and possible in day to day life.
A good book should leave you…slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it. ~William Styron
The writer has successfully created a colorful image through his words that the cover promises. I found the book a very entertaining read. It’s a sweet tale of ordinary people that you’d enjoy reading over and over while travelling or in cozy winters curled up in bed with a mug of Masala Chai just like the tea house in the book caters.
I am eagerly waiting for a second book in the series for the talented writer leaves us wanting more of such candid anecdotes that are so lively and never fail to bring a smile to my face each time I think about the book. A second round of mischief, drama and adventures is indeed a very welcome thought.