Review : 55 by Chetan Chatwal
Recently I got an opportunity to read a book whose protagonist is a Sardarji. How does that sound to you? Funny, mad cap, delightful or absurd (no pun intended). Well, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and began reading 55 – A Novel written by Chetan Chhatwal. If you are planning to read this one, I am sure, it will excite you.
55 is the story of Arjun Singh, a typical South Delhi brat who is fairly rich and enjoys a chauffeur driven car at all times. He hoped to end up in an up-town college studying economics with his up-town school friends but his fate had different plans for him. He scores a paltry 55 in his English Boards which causes ruckus and changes his life forever.
During the course of this book, Arjun builds a strong camaraderie with the trio – Rish, Pandit and Partho. This book is a mad cap narration of Arjun’s escapades with his friends and majorly, his undying love for a girl, who unfortunately is elder to him. The story takes us through Arjun’s growth as a person. What is unexpected is the climax of the novel. This book definitely leaves room for a sequel.
Arjun Singh makes us laugh with his antics and toilet humor. The author talks about ragging, bunking lectures, Arjun being paranoid about his turban, the pursuit of love, a foreign trip, debates, grades and lot more which will keep you hooked while reading.
One thing that must be mentioned here which I noticed was that the author has portrayed few aspects in the book like Old Delhi, Shady second rate colleges, etc in a very cynical manner. It was something that turned me off and I had to skip through few paragraphs because the description made me view those places in a negative sense.
This book deserves a 3 on 5 because of the humor element and the climax. 55 being a breezy read is very enjoyable.