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Monday, June 16, 2014

Book Review : ‘How to Screw Up like a Pro' by Abirami M Krishnan

I have read quite a few books on the subjects captured in book, ‘How to Screw Up like a Pro’ but it is only now that I find a book that is not just sensible but seems close to the heart. Abirami M Krishnan deals with both the fundamental subjects in this book with aplomb. Not just abuse but mental illness, as well.

The story starts off with the Suresh family house hunting. We are introduced to the main characters including the father and mother, and the three children in this prologue. The story runs to the part where we are soon told what everyone is up to.

It seemed a typical south Indian family. The mother and father are both doctors, while the eldest son, Arjun is into computers, the eldest daughter Akola, short for Amirtha Komala Lakshmi, is doing her doctorate in genetic engineering and finally, we have Anjana who is the youngest and dreams of being an actress. The mother's mother and father's father also make a notable appearance.

The first shock in immediately delivered, when Arjun announces that he has got his former girlfriend pregnant. She who is uninterested in marrying him rushes to the USA, where she plans to deliver the baby. Not to be outdone, Arjun also goes to the US, and stays close to her and the baby. Meanwhile, things begin to unfold for Akola, who is busy finishing up her doctorate, and Anjana, who is out looking for movies to act in.

Through this time, we come face to face, with Dr Suresh and his extramarital affair, his wife Paravati and her mental problems and the repercussions of it. Akola has to deal with the entire problem, as she is put into the centre of the problem, and she reacts very badly to it. The story moves through the past and the present, dealing with Akola’s  and Anjana's problems coupled with the amiable happenings in their lives.

Akola and Anjana move on with life, and Arjun who by the time is married and a proud father comes home. Tragedy strikes and all the characters come to the fore. Friends and family are all a part of this family’s life and they all have parts to play in the entire sequence of things. To help and aid, the family strives through.

Obviously, the story belongs to Akola who is the core of the story and she carries it through with poise. The story is brilliant mainly because of its genuine characters and the author’s sympathy towards them. Krishnan has a way with words and one can actually feel her emotions towards some of the characters. Definitely, an admirable work.

Author: Abirami M Krishnan
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Hachette India
ISBN: 9789350 092736
Price: Rs 299/-

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