Thursday, 8 September 2016

Book Review- 03:02 by Mainak Dhar

Yay! Its a 5-starer*****

After a long time, came a book that diluted boundaries of real world and the book for me. What started with a mundane and meaningless chase of fancy looking corporate titles soon turned into a super-thrilling roller-coaster ride of unpredictable events. I am amazed and equally annoyed with myself that I missed this author till now. 03:02 has found a new Mainak Dhar fan in me. And I know what I will be reading for the next few months.

03:02 is a story based in a posh locality in Mumbai. The rich and famous dwell in high-rises that are self-sustained and way above the routine struggle of survival that a common Mumbaikar faces. As the prominent buildings give them a view of beautiful horizons of the city, they also let the residents conveniently ignore people living (or merely existing) in nearby slums and look beyond the ugliness of the city. And as they continue to be gleefully unaware even of their next door neighbor, the feeling of having created a safe life is reinforced by the hefty bank balances that continue to increase. But the life as they know it is changed on a certain day at 03:02.
A seemingly routine and harmless power outage is just a beginning of a nightmare for not only the residents of Mumbai, but also for many countries across the world. An annoying situation gradually turns into a something much more than a crisis and demands unprecedented courage from the citizens. Aditya, the protagonist in the plot, is a corporate honcho who used to be known for his leadership skills and go-getter attitude. His leadership is put to use but in a way he could have never imagined. With a harsh blow, Aditya and other residents of the community realize that the world has changed and their titles and social statuses are completely useless. In this new world, human beings are going back to the basics of survival and you are a survivor only if you are able to fend for yourself and the people around you. This battle for survival and your Country’s pride is fought by common people who have not have dared to throw a stone at somebody in a world which existed before the crisis.
There are many things I liked about this novel. Though it started off with mundane story of a corporate world, it soon transformed into an engulfing and intriguing tale of fear and uncertainty. With science and technology at our behest, we have safely assumed that our world is indestructible.  We conveniently chose to ignore that this technology can be used against us any day and we can be left completely helpless if that happens. The author has intelligently incorporated the terrors of contemporary world into this fiction and churned out a saga that gives you shivers. The entrancing title is significant in the plot. Somewhere during the second half, it felt as if the story is going in circles but soon it came back on track and everything started making sense again. 03:02 is totally gripping and you will want to finish it in 03:02 hours in one go.

03:02 deserves it!

About the Author: After finishing his schooling at Modern School, Barakhamba Road and his under-graduation at Hindu College, Delhi, Mainak Dhar graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He has spent two decades in the corporate sector — starting with Procter & Gamble in India. He spent eighteen years with P&G, fifteen of them outside India across the Asia Pacific region. In 2014, he moved back to India as the CEO of the India operations of a major consumer products multinational.
A self-described cubicle dweller by day and writer by night, Mainak is also the author of over a dozen books, some of which have been bestsellers in India and abroad. These books have been translated into Turkish, Vietnamese, Japanese, French, German and Portuguese. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, Puja, and their son, Aaditya. When not at work or with his family, he can usually be found working on, or thinking about his next book. (Source: goodreads)
Read more about the author and his works on http://www.mainakdhar.com/index.html

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