Monday, March 30, 2015

Review and Spotlight of And We Remained by Asad Ali Junaid




And We Remained 
by 
Asad Ali Junaid


The Blurb

It is Bangalore in the late 1990’s. There are tremendous socio-economic and cultural transformations taking place as a result of liberalization. How would these changes impact a group of friends in their late teens? How would they cope, find opportunities and what of their original identities would they be left with, after western ideologies are brought in and bombarded into their awareness by cable TV and new media? 

Told through emails and first person account of events, And We Remained is a light and entertaining read of these friends as they experience love, heartbreak, prison, politics, drunken binges, strip clubs, sexcapades, US and Europe during their journey into adulthood


My Review

And We Remained, by Asad Ali Junaid is a story that is guaranteed to give you goosebumps as it takes you down memory lane of college life in India. Those precious days when most of the youth have big dreams to become either an engineer, a business tycoon or a doctor and want to touch the sky; just like that song in QSQT, "Papa kehte hein" Although being smitten by love is another path that most pave upon along with their academics. This book said it all!


This is mainly a tale of five college mates namely Sahir, Sandip, Gopal, Anand, and David. These five batch mates go through thick and thin during their academic years thus making them stick together even once they graduate. Their college lives are narrated by these individuals giving them a complete chapter to themselves.  The author would take us back n forth from their present to the future where they would be interacting with each other via texts, messages, and emails thus, giving the reader a glimpse of what kind of life these characters could carve out for themselves. 

Although it was good to reminisce about the past as college students and that life, but as a reader I kept waiting for a story to erupt. Wanted some climax to make me sit up and take notice on the characters mentioned above. Although the part where the boys were put in the jail for ragging was astonishing, and the atrocities they went through was chilling and horrifying. But, was surprised that even though they were falsely accused, they were accepted back into the college and eventually embraced by all their co-students. The author could have put some twist along with the ongoing good, bad, funny experiences and their aimless lives to keep the readers interested in a "What next" saga. The story was more about crushes with Wardha and the interactions the three young boys, Sahir, Sandeep and Gopal had with respect to her. 

And We Remained is a bunch of good, and funny experiences during college times and how these five young men could carve a niche in spite of the above. It definitely is a recommended read since it takes us all to those lovely carefree yet anxious days when we were younger and enjoyed life yet feared of what our future would be? 




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Meet the Author




Asad Ali Junaid is a design professional in Bangalore working in the area of Human-Machine Interaction. He aims to resolve problems to enable humans interact and use technology efficiently.
Junaid writes whenever there is a compelling story inside him bursting to get out.  Junaid’s first fiction novel –And We Remained – started as a story which needed to be told… and one which needed to be told differently. He joined a three week in residence ‘Just Write’ fiction writing workshop where he got a chance to learn the nuances of and hone his story telling skills from authors Anil Menon, Anjum Hasan and Rimi Chatterjee. And We Remained then turned into a 52,000 word novel with an absorbing storyline and a unique narration style – the story is set in the 1990’s India and is told through emails and first person accounts of events.  Junaid is getting great feedback for the story depicting the mindset of engineering students in that era and the unique narration style it follows.
Junaid is married and his wife is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore working in the area of Molecular Biophysics. Their toddler completes their home while keeping them on their toes.


You can stalk him @

                          

         


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