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Some incidents in life throw you into situations that test your innocence, and Siddhartha Chaudhury just narrates that with “Day Scholar”

Graduation days bring a lot of changes into you. It’s the juncture of the life phase that lets you not just realize your inner potentials, but also the matured ways to handle that. This is the time phase that makes you perceive the real world surrounding you in real sense, and Siddhartha Chaudhury explains that transformational phase with his witty, yet touching story-telling style. The backdrop is set in the early 90’s Delhi University days, and instantly you realize that this is the story of the time period you always miss. The characters are very much related with your own life, and thereby “Day Scholar” is something that is very much close to your heart. The story is told from the perspective of Hriday Thakur who has arrived to Delhi, fresh-faced and with delusions from Patna with his friend Pranjal Sinha. They stay at a house owned by Zorawar Singh Shokeen (love the pun in the name) – a Delhi muscleman who runs politics like a slithering snake. The house is bang in the centre of the University North Campus, which runs as a hostel for young boys. And there begins the journey of the narrator. To writing about Madam Midha – who is a moll rolled into a mistress for Zorawar to Jishnu Da – the leader of the young recruits for violent campaigns. In the midst of all this there lies the story of Hriday making that step from adolscence to adulthood. The set principles of caste, religion, and class do not make the growing up any easier. Hriday at the same time is also falling in love and pursuing Madam’s fourteen-year-old daughter Sonya, amidst literature, reading and writing. There are parts that take your breath away at times. For instance, you can consider the interaction between Hriday and Ritwik at the British Council Library or the cigarette he smokes with a beggar. Brilliant vividness – almost makes you imagine and that’s part of being a good book. A collection worthy stuff that RightBooks.in has in place, yet again, and the link at www.rightbooks.in/product_details.asp?pid=9780330514064&Day%20Scholar is what that brings this Picador India publications at discounted rates.

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