Sameer (Sam), one of Nik’s closest friends, advocates a trip to a war-ridden country, Cambodia. After much persuasion, the friends begin their randomly planned trip only to find themselves stuck in a country faltering under revolution by Khmer Rogue. When they are confronted by a revolting group, Nik gives away his passport to Sameer asking him to go back; an act of selflessness that turns Nik’s life upside down. Then, follows the horrendous tortures of Khmer Rogue, the serene life of a Buddhist monk in Thailand. Then, he reaches Brazil and as usual, saves a person’s life who turns out to be a Mafia leader. Eventually, he becomes his accountant, falls in love with a celeb model, gets entangled in a mafia war, leaves everything to save his life. He eventually finds himself in the USA again, homeless and cashless, in a camp. There he channelizes his sorrow to build a virtual game, in the hope of reuniting with his beloved. And finally, he leaves everything behind and comes back to India.
The plot opens with the protagonist travelling to India, where a new life awaits him. The plot really gets gripping, but the subplots seem more of a cliché with Nik finding himself in almost similar situations and repeating the same mistakes; something that irked me as a reader. The protagonist finds himself in the most terrible situations, which one wouldn’t expect to happen in real life, but somehow by sheer luck overcomes every bit of it.
As the story slides toward the end, we feel that now would be the time that Nik gets his piece of mind or for me, died peacefully. But, a turnaround of events happens, and whoosh! He meets Sam again, now a Media Tycoon. They share their sorrows and success stories. And, it is then that our protagonist decides his name to be Johnny. How he goes down, well, let’s not divulge.
The language is simple and coherent. There are not many characters to keep a tab on, but each has been crafted well. Certain events seemed quite unrealistic, but since it’s fiction, we let that go. As Lennon says, ‘There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.’; it seemed as if his life’s jigsaw puzzle parts were all scattered throughout the world, and he was destined to be everywhere to finish the puzzle.
PS: Thank you Shilpi Agrawal for gifting me this book. 🙂