Last month I ran a Facebook giveaway in exchange for reviews of The Reengineers. Here is the review by Parul Doshi, one of the two winners.
True to the quote borrowed from Charles Dickens at the beginning of the book, ‘The Reengineers’ leaves us wondering and wanting more. Plunging straight into the story of the teenager and his school life, we are introduced to his friends and their personal struggles as well. Whoever thought being a teenager was easy needs to get on this Dickensian adventure.
Chinmay Narayan, the central character of the novel is true to his South Indian roots. His love for Mysore rasam, reading and intellectual conversations. From his regular teenager problems to severe ones, he seems to handle them more maturely than adults. With two loyal friends Sabi and Anu who share in his misery in their own way the awesome threesome stands as a strong force. Part humorous part mysterious, their initial encounter with the Seeker’s school leaves the reader with a smile. As they delve into it deeper and deeper, we begin to learn and grow with them on this whirlwind of an adventure.
The book is reminiscent of all things 90’s. With references to ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’, usage of the word ‘Madras’, the idea of sending children to boarding schools all invoking a nostalgia of a past we have all lived through. The novel clutches onto the memory of an era which is now replaced by a post-modern need to clutter. That’s exactly what the novel does it de-clutters and takes you back to a simpler time. In crisp, easy to understand English, Ms. Muralidharan pens characters and scenarios which reminds one of R.K.Narayan and his most distinguished work ‘Malgudi Days‘.
Though the novel touches upon heavy topics it is peppered with humorous moments such as Chinmay’s love for Sonia Shastri, which invokes an embarrassing smile on every reader’s face as it only reminds them of their childhood crushes. The novel has a very personal note to it and every reader can relate to it. The ease with which the young adults discuss topics such as failure of marriages and their maturity to cope and understand the failing of their parents’ marriages provides a platform for the reader to go through a catharsis too. We purge and cleanse our emotions through the protagonist. Her biggest tool is humour and she knows how to use it well. The novel leaves the reader satisfied and hoping there is a series, a continuation of Chinmay and his adventures.