Book: Teenage Diaries – The Days That Were
Author: Sourabh Sharma
Publishing Year: 2016
Page Count: 320
Genre: Young Adult
Synopsis: “How about bunking the next class and rushing to the cricket field and while you are at it, planting a bomb in the toilet?” Wait, what the hell am I asking you to do with deadlines to catch on!? But allow me to take you down the forgotten memory lanes and remind you of the times when…
You had a fit of breathlessness in front of your crush,
When FLAMES said marriage, you couldn’t help but blush.
Blank calls played Morse codes,
Two meant – you missed her loads.
You were clumsy as shit, because her presence was sublime,
But after your break-up, crying became your favorite pastime.
You bunked the classes and said – ‘Let the studies rot!’
But you never missed Kiran ma’am’s class, ‘coz she was pretty hot!;)
Cricket brought you glory,
And planting a bomb in school changed your story.
Life screwed you over and killed your spirit,
But you’re glad that you anyway did it.
Told from the eyes of an Indian middle-class teenager, this story will make you wonder what you would have done if you were named Ghanshyam and were born a pessimistic nerd, while your optimistic best friend believed in unicorns and utopia! And to add to your woes, what if you fell in love with the most beautiful girl of your school? Wouldn’t you then wait for a miracle to happen?
Well, what if that miracle happened?
Time is something that never comes back once it is gone and one’s teenage years play a very important part in shaping up a person. The experiences that we have during this time and the relationships that we forge teach us many important lessons which we carry throughout our entire lives. Now, personally, my teenage years are almost over and this book made me nostalgic about the days that were gone.
The book follows the story of Ghanshyam, who was born in a typical middle-class Indian family. He had an elder brother named Roshan and since he was born, he was expected to follow his footsteps. Right from Ghanshyam’s childhood, he was bullied because of his name or his lanky figure. In the initial years, Vikram was the only true friend that he had. Then, a girl called Aneya comes into his school in 8th grade and for him – it was a case of love at first sight. The feeling was reciprocated but because of the occurrence of some events, they stopped talking to each other. To get over the pain of this heartbreak, Ghanshyam turned to studies and became one of the toppers in his board exams. After all these events, the real transformation of his comes into play. Two “cool” boys named Armaan and Sandy join his school and befriend Ghanshyam and Vikram. They completely change their lifestyles – with high-end parties and a high-class lifestyle.
They begin taking a lot of decisions and partaking in a lot of activities that made me raise my eyebrows. At the end, these events were important to portray the fickle mind of the young and the so-called “high” point of their life. Towards the end of this book, a few events happen which help Ghanshyam to put things into perspective and get a hold of his life.
I am always a little skeptical when I sit down to read contemporary novels by Indian authors (past experiences, you know). But, this book has been written quite well for a debut author. Yes, the plot is not exactly refreshing and is a lot like a Bollywood movie. But it is powerful enough to make you feel nostalgic about your teenage years and will definitely bring back memories.
Have you read this book? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.