Title : The Long Road
Author : Dr. Vivek Banerjee
Publisher : Pustak Mahal
ISBN : 978-81-223-1163-1
I must thank the author Dr. Vivek Banerjee first for sending a review copy to me.
'The Long Road' (journey is the destination...) is the story depicting the inside picture of medical college - the studies and the training routine, through the lives of five young aspiring doctors who have taken admission in the post-graduate degree courses.
Each of these five individuals hail from different backgrounds, have different aspirations and expectations from life, personally as well as professionally. Rahul and Sarika are old classmates and lovers since their graduate days but Sarika being a very driven and dedicated student disapproves of the casual attitude of Rahul towards the future and hence opts out of the relationship but it takes a fatal accident to make her confess her true feelings for Rahul and revisit her decision about their relationship once again. Ranjiv comes from a very affluent but lonely background, who does not acquiesce with the choices his doctor father made in his life, so wants to escape from his shadow. Hina, daughter of a Maulvi realized very early on in her life that the way out of the small attic in the mosque of Bhiwandi is through books and working hard. In the new open environs and with the support of a loving person, she blooms to be a confident and strong person.
The book gives a glimpse of the pressures of being in a medical college and the grueling studying ad working schedule the aspiring doctors need to follow in order to be an expert in their respective fields. The author being one belonging to the medical fraternity, very authentically brings out the nuances of this profession - the ups and downs, the lows and highs, the efforts and outputs, the confusions and hard decisions and rewards and disappointments. Amidst this academic drama, a couple of love stories are weaved in beautifully and through these relationships, the precarious balance every individual in such high demanding job needs to maintain has been brought to light.
Overall its a light-read, feel good story, very engaging and a page turner. There are no tough or complex situations brought into the narrative. The characters are very well etched, the editing is tight and no situation or incidence gives the impression of being redundant or not supporting the story. The language is simple, could be made typos free though. The medical terminology has been used where required but does not overwhelm the readers at any point of time.
However, it comes across as a little too simple and straight forward book where everything is divulged in words, not relying on the subtlety and the intelligence of the readers. Sometimes even the titles of the chapters give away the whole plot of the chapter, which robs off the charm and suspense of the following pages. In my opinion, there is a great scope of addition of some more content to the story.
This book brought back the memories of 'Doctors' that I read more than 20 years back, which has the similar backdrop - the medical profession. But the similarity ends at this point only. Doctors by Eric Segal was a much more meatier book and offered a lot of substance to retain forever.
But for a first time author, 'The Long Road' is a wonderful attempt and I sure will look forward to his next writings.
I will recommend this book for its simplicity and the feel good factor.