So what if you have studied Engineering in an Indian college. So what if you have had friends to watch your back, hold you from ‘falling’ in and out of love, spent a night with you in prison (that’s rare, but still!), and shared your passion for life. So what if you have had a mammoth heartbreak.
You might have experienced some or all of these. You might have read books about some or all of these. We’d still ask you, urge you to go read ‘And We Remained’ by Asad Ali Junaid.
If you have been old enough to cruise through the path breaking decade in our lives – the 1990s, you’ll know the people, their struggle towards a changing millennium and how they cope with the changes. ‘And We Remained’ captures snapshots in the lives of 5 friends and a girl and makes a panorama worth flipping through.
The book is about five guys – Sahir, Sandeep, Gopal, Anand and David – and a girl in most of their lives – Wardha. They are all Engineering students in various departments of ECVU, in Bangalore. The book begins well with snippets from their college times, with chapters alternated in voices of all the five guys. We start with Sahir and get a background of his friends and the college.
What’s unique about the book is the style of narration. The author has darted back and forth to the past and present depicting various phases of life. The protagonists’ life post-college is shared with the readers via emails. The conversations and banter between the friends in an email format is quite interesting and entertaining. The typical lingo, description of the ‘pics attached’, the anticipation of a reply and the wait for it, are much worth the readers’ time. Another important aspect of the Indian students’ life is portrayed here – the immigrant in the US of A. I wonder how many contemporary authors have plunged into the life of an Indian Grad student abroad. Junaid has very successfully given his readers a glimpse of the hard life, especially in the early millennium – the odd jobs, lack of money to pay tuition fees, hand-to-mouth situation at times. Many of our readers would feel familiar with the student life woes. Barring a few editorial errors and writing glitches in the chapters, And We Remained stands tall in its aim.
We loved the typical ‘guy chats’ in the book – sex, porn, nude pics, girls, jobs, marriage – all the usual things guys discuss about are crafted skilfully by the author. And if you have waited so long for love and heartbreak, they are there too! Wardha, the female protagonist wreaks havoc in three of the five guys’ lives. Her escapades with Sahir are heart-warming and breaking at times. But, lo and behold – there is happy ending as a dessert for our readers after the sumptuous spread.
We’d recommend this book to all our readers – not just because we liked it, ‘And We Remained’ is a good and entertaining read, promised to take you back a decade.