Books & You
Keep of the Grass reminds Deepali Desai of BA (Journalism, Psychology and English) of Chetan Bhagat’s debut novel and his style of writing. Read on!
keep off the Grass, by a very new writer Karan Bajaj, is nothing but another campus book. This book largely reminds me of Chetan Bhagat’s debut novel and his style of writing. I would not say Karan Bajaj has tried to copy his style but somehow there are lots of similarities between Bhagat’s Five Point Someone and Bajaj’s Keep off the Grass. Both these books have three main characters of similar dispositions and describe the protagonist’s life in two prestigious institutions of India, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM).
Keep of the Grass is basically a ‘young American investment banker’s search for self identity’ story. Samrat Ratan, a second generation US immigrant, chooses to leave his comfortable existence as an investment banker on Wall Street with the desire to search for his roots in India where he was born. Instead of falling into the predictable Spiritual Racket, he takes the safer route and enrols at IIM, Bangalore.
The actual story begins with Samrat’s coming to IIM, Bangalore where he meets Vinod and Sarkar. With hectic and competitive business school curriculum’s, Samrat enjoys India initially with drinks and marijuana and later enjoys has lots of adventure journeys like spending moments in the prisons of Bangalore, a trip to Rajasthan and a ten-day hiatus meditation course in Vipaasana centre of Dharamshala. Sounds vague!
Anyway, Samrat ends up as an intern in Shristi Laboratory in Banaras where he has close encounters with the Indian culture, sadhus and a strange flesh eating cannibal Aghori sect saints but then he finally finds a place and a role that gives him a perception of being grounded and makes him feel closer to the reality in the Ghats of Banaras.
The icing on the cake is the warmth which he shares with his IIM friends – Sarkar and Vinod who tread along the rocky yet introspective journey only to conquer and emerge victorious out of the two year B-School Program.
Keep of the Grass has a well woven story line and is written in very simple English. Most of the facts are entertaining and are not completely unbelievable. Personally, I had fun reading this book. A light form of adventure is one of its major assets, has a hold on the reader and makes the story interesting too. Never mind if one feels that this book is boring but it is not bad for ‘time pass’.