So, I finally got down to reading the book Jack Patel’s Dubai Dreams, many months after the author Mr. P.G. Bhaskar so kindly sent me a signed copy. I had been meaning to read the book as soon as I received it, but circumstances conspired to keep me away from it and I ended up putting it on hold for the longest time.
I am a great admirer of stories that have Indian protagonists in foreign locales. I don’t know why, but somehow I feel a strong sense of understanding when I watch their stories unfold in my mind’s eye. It’s almost as if I can watch their minds working and I begin to feel instantly connected to these strange and complicated people. They remind me of people I know, places I’ve been and circumstances I have encountered. In short, they remind me of me.
This particular tale is about a boy who after getting his degree in finance gets a high profile, coveted job as financial adviser in Dubai, a modern metropolis filled with promise: a city that teaches him to be and forces him to look forward and never back. It is only when he is forced to retreat to India and begin afresh that we realize that this story is so much more than a tale about a boy in the big bad world. JPDD is a book about aspirations, it is a book about passion, it is a book about dreams and it is definitely a book that will teach you that those dreams are worth following no matter what comes your way.
One of the things I love most about the novel is that P.G. Bhaskar keeps the story honest and simple. It is an uncomplicated tale of the complexities of life. (Does that make sense?) He is authentic in his portrayal of the wide gamut of emotions that Jack Patel experiences, a range that will leave you oscillating between joy and despair as well as humor and sadness too.
I love Bhaskar’s use of language too. This seemingly simple tale comes across so vulnerably and so beautifully because of how carefully Bhaskar has strung together his words. I still hold firmly onto my belief that sometimes the simplest of language and the most modest vocabulary can leave a lasting impact. Strangely, while reading this book I was reminded of Chetan Bhagat’s protagonists. Young Indians finding their own little niche in the world.
By the time you are done reading this book, you feel you have known Jack Patel for the longest time. That’s quite an achievement considering the author had only a few chapters and exactly 231 pages to make Jack come alive. While the book does have a certain freshness to it and it is refreshing to see the city of Dubai through another man’s perspective, it was all the financial jargon that distracted me. For someone like me who knows absolutely nothing about the said field this was a bit of a dampener! But I guess in order to be authentic and keep Jaikishan’s story real a certain amount of financial jargon was required.
All said and done, this is a one-off read. It’s not the kind of book that will have you re-reading and rediscovering. Yet, the simplicity of Jack’s experiences and the range of emotional responses it evokes makes this book special. It is an honest approach to a simple and honest story and if any of you want to spend a few days reading it, you can borrow my signed copy!