“Bala takes the plunge” is a humorous novel written by Melvin Durai. First thing I liked about the book is its cover design itself. Clearly hints what is meant by ‘taking the plunge’.
“Bala takes the plunge” is about a Tamil guy who wanted to be a movie director in his life (directing the likes of Rajnikanth how to act), but instead had to study engineering and ends up as Director of Design at a fitness equipment manufacturing company in US. Novel is centred around his quest to find an ideal life partner, regular family issues back home and cultural differences. An otherwise simple and straight forward story is made very interesting to read, by clever usage of language by the author. Smartly induced words and lines bring smile on your face at regular intervals as you read this. I don’t have too much to write about this book, Here’re couple of lines which give a sample of humour in the book:
“Eating during train journey was a good way to pass time, but Bala found it hard to maintain a balance, to eat just enough that he didn't have to visit the toilet, where it was even harder to maintain a balance”
She (Bala’s mother) had wanted him to be more practical about his career choice. ‘I am not asking you to do anything in particular,’ she insisted. ‘You have many choices. For example, you can be cardiologist, neurologist, ophthalmologist, oncologist or gynaecologist. All good choices. You can even be gastroenterologist, like my brother.’
“Bala takes the plunge” also throws light on fitness equipments industry and how they make a living selling the idea of better health. Any Indian born professional settled in the states would easily associate himself with the lead character in the novel. In a sense hope I won’t be mistaken if I go overboard and say the book is a must read for such people, as it tries to address most of them typical dilemmas related to career, marriage etc.
In the climax Bala marries his childhood friend and also gets to go for his dream job as movie director. Though this gives the novel a happy ending, I felt its practicality ended there. I understand that author has to take the story to a logical conclusion, in a purely personal piece of opinion, I feel large percentage of the guys won’t be lucky enough to find their childhood friend still reachable, unmarried and interested. Would have been more practical if the story had continued as to how he tackles his parents’ selection of brides.
“Bala takes the plunge” appears like a nice movie material as well. Priced at Rs 195 and can be yours for about 152 Rs after discount at flipkart
Melvin Durai’s Website has more details about the book. Don’t get cheated by above profile pic of Melvin, which might give you an idea he might be a just out of college youngster. Do read his profile on the website for his full credentials.
Disclaimer: I received a complementary copy from the author, but even otherwise the book is worth its price. Finished reading in about 2 sittings.
Read other book reviews: It happened in India * Raga Chintamani * 2 States by Chetan Bhagat* Not a penny more, not a penny less * Zero percentile -Neeraj Chibba* Colours of life by Ravi Sidula *