Raghav is an ordinary seven-year-old growing up on the ‘good’ side of Colaba in Bombay. His is a safe, protected world and he is kept well away from the ‘other’, darker side of Colaba, which nevertheless, holds a deep fascination for him with its colorful, busy alleys bustling with activity, people and mystery – the ‘real’ world as far he is concerned.
But life has other plans and Raghav’s entire world comes crashing down one day. In the space of a few crucial hours, his childish innocence is ripped away brutally, and he also loses the one person who may have made his world right again – his mother. That fateful day alters the course of his life and the ‘other’ side is the only place he can escape his now truly miserable home life and his bitter father who he resents more and more each day. He never tells even his closest friends about the horrific abuse he suffered the day his mother died, the day a fierce, burning anger took root in his very soul.
Now, 20 years later, all his peers and friends are settling down into jobs and the business of growing up. But Raghav is still trapped between his now suffocating relationship with his father, his own inability to find a job and make a life for himself and the painful memories of his childhood ordeal that still haunt him. And this is when he meets Rani one day, an orphan beggar girl who knows life on the streets of Mumbai, but not in the way Raghav does. He wants to ‘save’ Rani from the beggar mafia and give her a chance at a better life. His strong need to stand up for something, to truly help someone is fueled by the recent Nirbhaya gangrape case in New Delhi, that evokes painful memories of his own past trauma.
Set in Bombay in 1992 and Mumbai in 2012, and inspired by true events, Diary of an Angry Young Man is a coming-of-age urban drama that explores the complex layers of humanity. And the city that engenders them.
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I was lucky enough to receive this book from the author. I hope the prospective reader will read this review fully before making any prejudgments on the book. I will give the book my thoughts. These thoughts are completely my own and not swayed in any way by anyone else’s reviews or opinions.
The author reached out to me and asked to send it to reach a different audience. This is the first book I am reading by this author. I wanted to take note of the story itself. It is based on real events. I think that is interesting to learn about different cultures in different parts of the world. I love that the author takes the time to explain some of these historical moments for people who may not have experienced this world before.
The other side of that was while reading the novel, I struggled with some vocabulary. I did have to stop reading and go to google to look up these terms. Some of these are extremely important to the culture and the storyline. I think that I would have liked the variation or some explanation into the meaning. This was few and far between though.
My Rating: I loved Raghav. The dimension of the storyline is amazing. I think the definition of the cultural moments took this book down an extra star. I don’t know if this is the book that I would read again. Maybe in a while. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. I know that this author has incredible potential in worldwide success. I want everyone to read this novel. It is worth taking the time to try something new.