This fiction is based on real events in the life of the author whose One Night @ the Call Centre became a hit.
The book under review is set in late 2000, when a young boy Govind dreams of owning a business while living with his parents. To accommodate his friends Ish and Omi'spassion for cricket, Govind decides to open a cricket shop. Ish names it Team India Cricket Shop which is inaugurated with the usual ?smashing of a coconut? on the morning of April 29, 2000. After three months, the three friends make a profit of 8,345 rupees. With this money they decide to make the ?Team India Cricket Shop? more presentable and multifarious by adding a board which says, ?Stationery, Cricket Coaching and Maths Tuitions Available?. With this, Govind may not have ?diversified geographically?, but he does diversify the ?product offering?.
However, nothing comes easy in the turbulent city of Ahmedabad. To realise their goals, the three friends have to confront a devastating earthquake first on the night before the Republic Day. That day, Govind thinks that his mother is shaking him awake but realises on opening his eyes that ?Mom didn'tshake me. I moved on my own. I opened my eyes. My bed went back and forth. I looked at the wall clock. It had fallen on the floor. The room furniture, fan and windows vibrated violently.? He rushes to his shop and finds it reduced to a heap of rubble??two years of scrimping and saving, 20 years of dreams?all wiped down in a few seconds.? Govind rushes home and breaks down as ?God slapped my city for no reason?. He wails, ?We are cursed, man. I saved and saved and … saved. And we took loans. But then, this??
The three friends start afresh when Govind'sfather gifts them his dilapidated godown to start their shop. Troubles do not cease to dog them. Govind and his friends find themselves embroiled in the aftermath of the burning down of the Sabarmati Express. Govind sees his uncle, whom he addresses as Mama, leading a mob of Hindus because his son has been mowed down by the rioters. Mama kills a number of his enemies before succumbing to death. The story is interspersed with cricket matches played between India and Australia and there is also the usual love angle thrown in for good measure in the form of Vidya, who is Govind'sfriend'ssister.
This is a book meant for light reading and especially if one finds oneself rushed for time.
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