Title: Sahyadri Adventure – Anirudh’s Dream
Author and Illustrator: Deepak Dalal
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
Age group: 13 years+ (the publisher recommends it for 10 years+)
As much as one would like to their kids to read, many don’t or leave the book mid way saying it is not interesting. It is so difficult to ease the kids now. As a kid myself, I used to devour any and every book that I could lay my hands on. Maybe, this is our doing. Too many options, just too many options! But one thing never fails to entice any age group and that is an adventure. And his book is all about adventures, not one or two but aplenty!!!
The story begins with a regatta, a boat race amongst the sailors undertaken at the National Defense Academy in Pune. There, the academy head’s son Anirudh, a reluctant participant, and his partner Vikram compete against skilled sailors Aditya and Kiran, and many more. While a thunderstorm halts the race, the arrival of Chitra, Vikram and Aditya’s college friend, brings a cheer to the otherwise subdued mood. Now deciding to go on a trek to the Torna mountain, the group leaves with a dejected Anirudh in their wake.
What was supposed to be a fun camping trip soon turns violent when they are ambushed and ousted to their limits to save their lives. While each person tries to look after the other and work as a team, it is Anirudh who starts exhibiting weird behavior much to annoyance and fear of everyone else. And then something happens that steers their lives in a direction none of them had seen coming.
Those who know me also know my disdain for Indian authors. Nah, I still haven’t managed to get over it but I am trying every single day. So when this book was offered to me as a review copy, I thought why not!? Maybe I could do with some teen adventures, something that I sorely missed as a teen myself.
Written beautifully, this book is exactly what could have started my affair with home grown authors, but alas, it came in a little too late and a little too much. Now you’d ask, what is too much? And I’d say the descriptions, the minute possibility of a flower springing from the moist earth below the tree surrounded by a valley full of similar trees doesn’t need mentioning repeatedly. Because this my dear readers, wouldn’t be too exciting for a teenager, whom this is meant for in the first place, and not me.
There is definitely some action, some fast paced scenes but as a package, the story is slow paced given the mammoth number of pages it sprawls across. The characters are developed finely, yet there is a lot of scope for growth because we haven’t seen the end yet. I particularly liked Anirudh’s character, very real, very relatable. Then there is the fiery Chitra with her dual toned charisma of a mother and a teenager.
There seem to be more parts of the story that one would have to read. This thing brings me to cliff hangers, which I so abhor because I am the last person to be able to contain my curiosity about what is to happen. So, I guess, I will have to get the next book or just hang in there until the feeling subsides, LOL.
Having said all of the above, the story is indeed adventurous with a double dose of entertainment. Read it if you want to know what I mean 😉
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