Book Review: “Sorry You’re Not My Type” (SYNMT)
Author: Sudeep Nagarkar
Publisher: Random House India
“All relationships should come with a precautionary warning: Handle With Care”
Sudeep Nagarkar delivers this punch-line through a story that meanders through the terrains of love, jealousy, hatred, infatuation and wantonness before ending up to the ocean of shocking realities, called ‘life’. It attempts to convey the message that human relations are far more complicated than one can make it out to be and that lust and wantonness are at times the most overpowering emotions that engulf the notions of friendship and fidelity among closest of friends. It’s a story, based on real-life events, that warns the readers that if attraction towards a friend of opposite sex is not nurtured in a positive and sensible way, it can have pernicious repercussions on the relationship that would end up in unbearable tragedies.
Sudeep Nagarkar, who is the author of three earlier best-sellers ‘Few Things Left Unsaid’, ‘That’s The Way We Met’ and ‘It Started With a Friend Request’, is adept in the art of story-telling that connects instantly with its target audience that happens to be primarily youth, who are the most rapidly growing class of readers across the nation. Thus, he gels well with some of those celebrated new-age fiction writers, such as Durjoy Datta, Tuhin Sinha, Preeti Shenoy, Ruchita Mishra, Nikita Singh etc, who cater to the insatiable reading appetite of this burgeoning class of book-readers. All of these authors are instant celebrities who walk the length and breadth of the nation enthralling their audiences with chat shows and motivational talks.
“Sorry You’re Not My Type” is a story of two boys and a girl who get enrolled in Hansraj College of the Delhi University where they come together for the first time to create a musical band of their college which they christen VAYU, a word that represents the initials of their names, Vikrant, Anamika and Yuvi. All the three nurture the shared dream to take their band to the height of popularity not only in their college but far and wide. The band churns out few beautiful lines that get the audience humming and crooning all around:
“Jo tumhari nende udaye,
Khwab hai sachcha wahi,
Jo tumhari nendo me aaye,
khwab wo sachcha nahi”
As the chemistry between them gets stronger, the popularity of the band gets hysterical till Anamika finds herself entangled in a relationship; it was a relationship which she had contrived deliberately for herself under some compelling circumstances. The relationship pushes her life into a quagmire of complicated situations from which she finds it difficult to pull herself out. The two boys, opposed to this relationship, find her drifting towards disaster and ask her to redeem herself from the situation so that their band may not get affected. But, she couldn’t find her way out of the mess and the successive events spell doom on the prospects of VAYU, which ultimately fizzles out of the scene. Frustrated and devastated over the disintegration of VAYU, her mate and best friend from the band, Yuvi, who nurtures secret jealousy towards her, devises his own way to take revenge on her. It was a revenge, which not only proves to be the last nail in the VAYU’s coffin but goes to shake the very foundation of the relationship of the three friends, the foundation which was based on trust, hope, loyalty and fidelity. Vikrant, who meanwhile finds the true love of his life outside this triangle, finds the trust broken, faith shattered and fidelity abused. The three friends are never the same again.
SYNMT is a powerful story that explores the territories of love, passion, infatuation, faith and fidelity through the rather offbeat youth subculture that may seem repugnant to some of the readers because of the heavy use of things like Marijuana, LSD, cannabis and other recreational drugs by the characters and the concept of free sex and recreational love among them, as this is not a part of the main-stream current Indian youth culture. Yet, the subculture exists and is a strong reminiscent of the subcultures like ‘punk’ and ‘hippies’ that originated in the west in the 1960’s and the story seems to draw heavily from the countercultures of those periods. The origin and growth of VAYU reminds one of the days of psychedelic rock of the era of ‘The Beatles’ and other bands where the likes of Bob Dylon and George Harrison, high on ‘acids’, set the stage on fire with their electric guitars (as Yuvi is shown to do) and where the hysterical audience, in Levi-Strauss denims and T-shirts with punk slogans written on them, crowded the scene. The author has tried to invoke the image of the same magic, borrowing concepts from the prevailing countercultures of the time. Now, how much the youth of the day takes it, remains to be seen. However, the story carries the potential to be converted into a motion picture. It’d make a kickass movie, I swear.
However, the author would have done much justice to the characters if he had put forth some further details on their dressing and fashion-styles that would have raised the characters to the status of cult among the youth. In absence of this, the description of the characters and their surroundings look dull and inanimate.
The language of the author is simple, lucid and crystalline and the dialogues are laced with profanities and swear-words that has become the hallmark of the new-age writers chomping to take its target readership along. Though some typographical and editing mistakes are there, the same doesn’t spoil the read. With a good story and a limpid language, the 199-page book is a one-sitting read. Priced at Rs. 150/- I found the book quite worth a read. Go for it, readers.
Krishna Kumar@PotPourri 2014