Author: Karan Puri
Publisher: Prakash, Rs125
The book is about the transition of a boy into a man, and how ‘shit happens’ in his life, writes Anil Bhat
When I ask this young author what has made him take the risk of writing a book so early in his life, he says, “My inspiration came from the accolades I used to get for the blogs I wrote soon after my college days were over. This inspired me to write my own little book.”
“like so many ideas and plans that we make, I just didn’t know where I’d be going with this thought. The characters and the storyline, all I had in mind for long. But as I took the plunge and disciplined myself into putting pen to paper every morning, things slowly became clear. The characters started telling me their own stories, and the plot thickened,” Karan Puri says, adding: “The title of the book, Shit Happens, is inspired by how many times we say ‘Oh Shit’ in our livesIJ It’s the most common word, but for the title of this novel, we wanted a trendy one which youngsters could connect with. Shit is used to express the emotional intensity of the protagonist.”
So what is this book all aboutIJ “Well, it’s about the fact that shit happens in life. People come and go, people judge you, you judge them, you make mistakes, you learn or don’t learn. If you’re me, you make those mistakes again and again. And you realise over and over again in your life that shit happens,” the author says.
Protagonist Anurag Sinha’s mundane school life goes from bad to worse when Alisha Mahapatra, the “prettiest and dumbest girl in his class”, decides to use his brains to complete her homework. He has always been the teacher’s pet, who backbenchers loved to hate. As a result of his geek status he has never had the opportunity to socially mingle with the pretty girls.
One day due to some misunderstanding with Alisha, her boyfriend Amit, the captain of the school cricket team, along with other members of the team, humiliate Anurag. That is when he decides to prove himself. How will he do thatIJ By getting admission in an American institution. He would gain what none of them could aspire to — a foreign degree. And he gets through to the University of Rochester.
Anurag encounters culture shock in a number of unexpected places — from the Frankfurt airport, where he has to deal with toilet paper for the first time in his life, to a taxi ride in New York, where the driver instead of hustling him for extra money, gives him a free ride. In the US, Anurag falls in love with an American girl. It’s, however, a sticky affair as she happens to be the girlfriend of his roommate — someone who regards him as a brother and looks after him and his interests in the US. With time and exposure, the boy becomes a man who is not longer insecure about his self worth, but confident in his own skin. The transition that he goes through is what this story is all about.