When it comes to movies, there is, or rather was, a saying that there are only seven scripts that are ever turned into movies. With the number of school-college-reunion stories coming out of India, the day's not far when someone says that there are only seven types of books that can come out of India.
When it comes to the school-college-reunion stories, there are some stories that are good, some that are middling and some that are rank bad. Where does Strings of Friendship come in this table of excellent? Read the complete review to find out.
Strings of Friendship is the story of four school kids and their life and times as they move from school to college till they complete their high school and finally move on with their lives.
Strings of Friendship is a nicely written book and the author Mehul Kaku has definitely put in an effort to create a world where bunking school is the biggest crime that a person can commit and will have the strongest punishment possible – and that's what works for the author and the book
There's cricket, there's the customary vice sequence, there's the love stories and the ones that got away, and though most such books have this, the one thing that Mehul has in his book is a spirit.
The spirit that all had during a childhood that's cherished, remembered and form some of the most important and emotional memories that one has today, Mehul succeeds in transporting the readers right to their times, something that genuinely works for the book.
The beauty of the book is that the author takes pain to implement several sequences of a person's childhood and make it all seem so relevant.
Come to think of it, there's a sequence where the protagonists are stealing mangoes from a mangrove and the now staple sequence where they have their first taste of alcohol – and the author rides well into both of them. Strings of Friendship is a feel good story that you should read if you are missing your school and college life.
The book is not perfect though and suffers from some of the long standing ailments that are staple in Indian writing. The dialogues do not seem to conversational, and that takes away quite a bit from not just the essence of the book but the character too.
The other aspect that the book misses is a story. Though the author does an excellent job of telling the readers about what happens to the protagonists, the traditional thread of the story, as in A, BC does not exist. This may or may not be a point that everyone wants in their book.
If you have given up on coming of age stories from the Indian mindset, books like Strings of Friendship and Eighteen will allow you to keep your faith in this genre.