Debojit Dutta, a inquisitive studious teenager is growing up in a typical Bengali household in the lap of serene pine covered hills amid the blooming chestnut trees of Shillong.But one fine day while returning from school he faces the heat of growing intolerance towards the non residents among the localities.On the pedestal of adolescence,he became friends with Clint Eastwood, a teenage artist and Audrey Pariat, the beauty with brains.They introduces him to the revolutionary music of Pink Floyd, exotic food and forbidden joys. Amid the growing differences between the two communities,everything is at stake their beliefs, trust and friendship. Readers will love to find out whether they hold on to each other or drift apart during the turbulent times.
Narrated in a simple language,the story is told through the point of view of a 14 year old boy whose whole world is turned upside down by few events.The story throws light on the socio-political condition of Shillong during 1980s. It portrays the cultural difference among the Bengalis and Khasis, the economic condition of natives, the sense of alienation seeping in the non natives residing in the place since many generations and the effect of chaos on a common man’s life. The author deftly describes the pristine greenery of the hills, the natural fauna, the common beliefs and the diverse food habits. He tastefully etches each character highlighting their distinct features.The ethnic conflict between Khasis and non-natives and the friendship of the trio form the backbone of the story. Reader could easily relate to the main protagonist Debu, his insecurities,the taxing teachers,finding joy in the little things, the irresistible attraction of tabooed things and often getting entangled between rules and freedom. The growing rebel in him yearns to break rules without hurting his family.The writes skillfully describes his initial exploits in the barred zone.
Amid the political wars often, many families suffer huge personal loses,which are irrevocable in terms of life and time.The innocent mind of children many a time get tainted by the bitter fights of adults. I would love to recommend the book to every reader who want to have a peek in the 80s life of Shillong.