Top positive review
Must read book !
9 May 2019
“WHEN STRANGERS MEET” BY ‘K. HARI KUMAR’
A book review by Payal Ghorpade
Dated : April 28, 2019
About the Author:
K.Hari Kumar is the first Indian writer to make his name into the top 50 paranormal writers list on Amazon global site. He is a published author of 3 books and a screenwriter of 2 feature films. Currently, he is working on Hindi web-series for leading production houses. “When Strangers Meet” is his first novel. No doubt, it has achieved a grand success adding a golden feather to his hat.
The Cover page :
The cover page shows three characters – a young teenager with long hair, a bag pack on his shoulders, earphones neatly plugged in his ears, wearing a loose T-shirt over jeans (embodiment of today’s youth) to the left. A funny pot-bellied man with the letter ‘K’ engraved on the wrist of his right hand, a tilak smeared on his forehead, wearing a traditional dhoti and holding a cup in the centre. Then we see a tall Pathan wearing a long white kurta revealing a paper in one of its pocket, to the right. I see the character sketch in the novel well worked upon the cover page itself. Cities like New Delhi, Gurgaon and Chennai are shown on green signboards. Well, according to the traffic rules, green colour means one can precede in that desired direction. Hence, the cities shown on the cover page with green signboards seem to intent that the plot progresses in their direction. While, there is a signboard of Ghittorni in red which probably means that the fate of these three different characters halt somewhere at Ghittorni. The tagline ‘Sometimes all it takes is a strangers tale to bring your life back on track,’ succeeds in creating a suspense in the minds of the readers. I personally appreciate the cover page of this novel as it speaks volumes about the seriousness of the Author in constructing the plot with outmost details.
1) Jay: A rebellious teenager, weakling at heart, having aspiring dreams
2) Hussain: A God-loving and God-fearing tall Pathan, a tea-staller, optimistic approach towards life, good heart and good will, a kind and helping person.
3) Krishnaprasad Iyer: An overweight with average height Tamilian Brahmin man, wears a traditional attire , a tilak smeared on his forehead, Tamilian accent, patient and experienced.
4) Mr. Sharma: Jay’s father, a mathematician, furious and dictator attitude, high expectations from his son
5) Mrs. Sharma: Jay’s mother, peace maker between Jay and his father.
6) Mr. Raamasamy Iyer: K.Iyer’s Orthodox father, shares same characteristics of Jay’s father.
7) Mrs. Iyer: K.Iyer’s mother, peace maker between K.Iyer and his father.
8) Hariprasad: K.Iyer’s close cousin, loving and caring attitude, supportive of Iyer’s every decision.
9) Anwar: Jay’s best friend, cares and loves Jay
10)Tania: Jay’s girlfriend hates bad habits of Jay like smoking, warns Jay to take decisions carefully with concern.
11)Padma: Relative of Iyer’s family, good friend of K.Iyer , good looking, mature, kind and helping person.
12)Arshad: Elder Son of Hussain, his father is his role model, responsible, moderate dreams.
The love between a father and a son is the main theme of the story. Our parents want the best for us. They want to give everything to their children that they never had the privilege of owning in their life. The parents thus, have high expectations which overburden the children. Often, this leads to stressed relations between the parents and their children. The parents turn a deaf ear to their children dreams thinking that they are young and immature enough to take right decisions of their life whereas, children tend to misunderstand the concern of their parents. The result is constant fights and agitations between the parents and their children. But, at last, all’s well that ends well. Family is family and despite all the fights, love for each other always unites the members.
1)Corruption in the Indian Education System and Government Officers :
This novel warns the readers about the people of high ranks in the system who take advantage of desperate parents willing to secure future of their children by churning out huge amount from the parents under the name of admission. Mr Sharma wants his son to be an engineer despite scoring average marks in the exam. Hence, he willingly agrees to pay Rs 2.5 lakh as donation to the college. This makes us realise how the noble education providing people have turned into Academic Merchants.
Iyer wants to work at a higher post in the Municipal Corporation owing to his exquisite knowledge of English, Tamil and Hindi language for which he is suggested to offer a lump sum of bribe to higher officers. This shows that anyone can work at Government offices by bribing the seniors with money.
2)Theme of Fear, Guilt and Pain :
Iyer is afraid to go back to his town. He fears that the words spoken by his furious father in their heated argument would come true and he would lose his father forever. He also feels guilty for been the reason of his father’s health issues. He couldn’t forgive himself for the pain and shame he caused to his beloved people.
On the other hand, Jay is afraid to be caught by his parents and been sent back to engineering college, much against his wishes. He is guilty and does not to waste his father’s hard earned money over the a course he isn’t interested in.
The Pathan is afraid that he wouldn’t be able to make up to the lottery office in time and have to surrender once again to his fate. He is guilty for not been able to provide for his family needs.
3)Theme of Friendship:
A friendship characteristic of blood is seen in the bond shared by Kanna and Iyer. Iyer loves Kanna and Kanna supports and trust Iyer’s decision. Kanna also looks after the well-being of Krishna’s family after he runs away and provides financial help and support to Iyer’s family during the time of crisis. Both of them have nick names for each other, just like friends do have.
Anwar is Jay’s best friend and all through the years Jai has been venturing till late night in the city with an excuse of studying maths at Anwar’s place. Anwar loves Jay and has deep concern for his friend’s outraging frustrations. He is also there to pacify the matter with Jay after Jay gains consciousness.
4)Theme of Transformation:
Iyer changes from a rebellious egoistic teenager who ran from tuticorin to become an actor in the big city into a satisfied young mature government employee. Jay undergoes a transformation too by agreeing to surrender to his father’s expectations to be an engineer against his wishes.
The writer succeeds in explaining that life experiences transform the perspectives of every individual.
5)Theme of Struggle:
Sometimes, the realisation of dreams counterstrikes the reflection of reality and this leads to struggle. While the Pathan struggles in his everyday life to make ends meet, Jay struggles to hold out the olive branch to his father making him understand that engineering is not his cup of tea and he has his passion in animation whereas, Iyer struggled to manage his life in a big city.
Struggle is another name of Life, proved by the author through the story.
6) Theme of Love:
The theme of love is covered in veils in this novel. Love is the name of sacrifice, moving on with one’s respective life if things don’t work out but in a way that causes no disgrace to the other. It is the constant care and concern both has for each other. It means supporting each other during challenging times. This silent side of love is seen in the relation of Padma-Iyer, Jay-Tania and Hussain-Saira.
The integral setting of the novel is the resting area of Ghittorni Station, which influences the theme, character and action of the story. As the story progresses, the setting changes to New Delhi, Gurgaon and Chennai.
The plot is about a about how a stranger’s story, his life lessons and beliefs has the potential to transform others life back on track.
The plot is neatly woven around three characters- Krishnaprasad Iyer, Jay and Hussain, all the three from different backgrounds meeting on one fateful dayat Ghittorni Metro Station.
Jay is a rebellious young teenager who fights with his dad against his expectations and runs away from his home for the sake of the fulfilment of his dreams.
Hussain is a poor tea-staller and has won a lottery ticket worth Rs.50 lakhs. He believes it to be Allah’s will and wishes to provide for his family through this money.
It is the story of K.Iyer covering most of the pages of the novel that later changes the future lives of Jai and Hussain. He is the reason for a mind blowing twist in the story.
The prologue is in second person narration, The narration of Jay’s and Hussain’s story is in Third person and story of Iyer is written in first person narration.
Well, I am grateful to no one in particular but myself for choosing this fantastic book to read. The plot of this book is enthralling and the pace with which the story proceeds kept me engaged. My jaw dropped when I came across the climax of the story. I appreciate the author for introducing the stunning climax which left me bewildered, shocked and surprised all at the same time. Honestly, there was no better way than this to introduce the climax. Hats off to you Sir!
This book is substantial enough to drift you back into the past and make you reflect on your decision taken back then. This book forced me introspect my relation with my father and showed me his side, something I was unaware of. It felt, I was in the shoes of Jay hearing K. Iyer’s story. The emotions of guilt, pain and shame felt ny Jay, engulfed me too. Jay was driving through the same road that Iyer once drove. So perhaps, out of all the people in the world, he chose to recite his story having similarity with Jay’s, believing that Jay would understand and help him. But this alone is not the reason for Iyer meeting Jay, I suppose. I was spellbound by the way the Author drew a close acquaintance of Jay’s and Iyer’s father as friends just by jotting down one dialogue from the movie that Mr.Prakash Sharma and Mr.Raamasamy Iyer had seen together in their college days which is, “The Earth revolves around The Sun and The universe revolves around Mathematics.” This made me associate resemblance of both the fathers’ behaviour.
The author highlighted the essence of reflection of reality with realization of dreams. I simply loved the way the Author brought three different characters into one plot.
The author not only served a bowl of griping story to the readers but also made sure that they enjoy a spoonful of vivid information like the year when Madras came to be known as Chennai, the significance of Shani Deva, the difference of language and culture between the Malayalees and Tamilians and why Malayalees make good nurses. The telugu dialogues adds more realness to the story.
The language is lucid and doesn’t elaborate without purpose. Characters are well worked upon and do not lack dimension, which is something I appreciate. Personally, this book gave me a lot to think about and reflect even after I finished reading it.
1)Clothes do not make a person. It’s his beliefs!
2) The greatest epic is your own life’s story.From the moment you set your foot outside your mother’s womb, an epic is set into motion that keeps evolving until the day you leave this place.
3)Sometimes words said had lightening effects.
4)When it comes to women and money, people tend to look over God.
5)This Earth and our fate have something in common. They are both round! Where you start is where you end. What goes around, comes around.
6) X is inversely proportional to Y, where X is the anger and frustration of a father and Y is the love and care of a father.
7) At the end of the day, we are all dirt in the sand.
Anyone who is looking for suspense, love, mystery, sadness, inspiration, fright, philosophy, everything that makes a good book should definitely go for this.
I would give this- 4/5