Chinmay Narayan is plotting to kill himself. He is a misfit at school, his parents are about to divorce and the love of his life doesn’t know he exists. It seems pointless to go on with such a dysfunctional life. But before he gets anywhere with that plan, Chinmay and his friends, Anu and Sabi, stumble into the eerie world of Conchpore through a portal in Uncle RK’s library.They find themselves in The Seeker’s School, where you can buy spiritual courses that will bring you enlightenment. While the seekers seem unaware that there is anything amiss, Chinmay and his friends stumble upon a strange and sinister plot that the teachers and students are caught up in. The three youngsters suddenly find themselves in danger, and their only hope is the charismatic Siddharth, an old student of the school who has come to visit. Chinmay discovers that Siddharth is seeking catharsis from his dark past by writing a book—a book with Chinmay as the protagonist. He realizes that his own story is a mirror image of Siddharth’s, which leads to a moment of reckoning for him: can he become the author of his own life?
Set in Madras in the early nineties, The Reengineers dispels the boundaries between fiction and reality to tell a tale that is as much a coming-of-age story as it is an inspiring narrative of self-empowerment and spiritual growth.
The Reengineers is a book that has covered many issues such as Depression yet being mindful towards and aiming for holistic health of body and mind while seeking the truth of one's soul.
The story is set in Madras and begins with a teenage boy, Chinmay preparing for his tenth-grade exams along with his besties Anu and Sabi in the library of his aunt. When suddenly a journey unfolds when a particular door opens, and they land in a Seeker's School in Conchpure. The setting seems real with how the author shows a group of people chanting away while the confused students try to make sense of their surroundings. The adventure develops from here onwards...
Govind, the antagonist, is developed well, and he sure did make an impression on the reader's mind. Siddharth's Letters to a Hero were mind blowing, but I was surprised to see a transformation happen in Chinmay so soon especially since he had been battling with depression and had plans of suicide after his board exams given the current family problems between his mom and dad. The narration of the downfall of the Seeker's School was slow, but it ended well with the professor concluding to take to the mountains while dissolving his staff. No doubt characters such as Govind and Roshan did not take it well, and repercussions were shown that was satisfying as a reader. Eventually, the children returned 'home', but with a wider outlook and yet the satisfaction to be near their closed ones. They finished their exams and enjoyed their summer with Charu Bhabhi, the newest member of their family. Also liked the matured and happy go lucky attitude of Chinmay towards his parents and their present situation between their relationship.
Biggest turnaround in the story: Chinmay shining from this new journey and ready to 'write his future' as suggested by Siddharth. His perception towards life had changed, as he said adios to his days of despair.
The language was flawless with a couple of twists. But the pace was slow thus, making the reader in me hold the reins towards some action. I liked the notion of how depression is woven into unearthliness and eventually Chinmay is pulled out of it. However, there are some buts and ifs that I could not digest. Dialogue such as, "Be Happy!" "Brother" Sister" sounded a little cheeky as a reader.
Need I add that the above twist reminded me of the Magic Tree House Series where the children would enter a new place and get into adventure and then return home with a new perspective and dimension in their lives thus, giving the young readers a take home lesson.
The Reengineers not only rewired the minds of these young teenagers but also helped them take charge of their future by enabling them to write one for themselves, thus leaving on a positive note for the reader!