I’m not 24.. – Book Review

This is author Sachin Garg’s second novel after ‘A Sunny Shady Life’, adding to his list of national bestsellers. It is the story of Saumya, a normal Delhi girl, just out of college, all set to step into her corporate life. But fate has other plans for her, when she lands up at the steel plant of a small village Toranagallu in Karnataka, due to her unique name, mistaken to be a guy’s.

The story starts with Saumya describing her tough work environment, and the very challenges it exhibits. Though she has a nerd Amit, from the same college as hers also placed here, she finds herself alone in a new and strange place, but soon begins to make friends with a colleague Mallapa and meets new people, like Shubhro on her visit to Hampi. We guess it to be a love triangle of sorts, but it is not so. Mallapa is from South India and Saumya is good friends with him, who keeps giving her way too much information. Just when he realizes he likes her, there is a tragic end awaiting him, which leaves Saumya very shaken.

And later, she meets a hippie and drug addict Shubhro, who’s mysterious ways charm her and she soon falls in love with him. She learns of his nomadic nature of travelling to every place and staying there for just 3 months, but hopes her love might make him stay with her forever. At the end of being together for three months, Shubhro proposes to her, but leaves to continue his journey the very next day without letting her know of his whereabouts or any promise of his return. Saumya feels devastated, and decides to quit her job and return from the place, which brought her so much sadness. And when she is ready to leave everything behind and make a fresh start to her life, she chances upon Shubhro’s secret, the secret to his mysterious ways, the reason he leaves her, and the big question if he had ever loved her. You may read the book to know further to the story of what happens to Mallapa, whether Shubhro and Saumya meet again.

The title sounds witty but there is little humour in it. I felt the characters of Amit and Mallapa could have been explained more or given a deeper role to play. The book has fine characters, and I’m sure everyone would love the role of Shubhro. I particularly liked the surprising end of the novel, which makes up for the slow dragging center half, and made it intriguing and enjoyable in the end. It is different from the other novels of the same genre as it is not set in just another IIT/IIM college, and does not give us the usual love and struggle tales of the boy and girl. The story being told by the central lady character of Saumya was a nice idea as well. It would make for a light journey read, and I would rate it a 3/5.

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