Book Review: Blogger, Content & Technical writer turned author Andaleeb Wajid now tries her hand at romantic Young Adult fiction. With a spice of Time Travel, she manages to make her audience Happy.
I have never been a fan of Harry Potter or the Twilight series because I am a lot closer to the generation of Suma rather than the generation of Tamanna, the 16 year old heroine of the book I just finished reading. I must be one of those rare [proud or vain depending upon from where one sees it] characters in this world who has neither read nor watched a Harry Potter or a Twilight series. My taste has always been in autobiographies, sports related books and R. K. Narayan type rather than fiction from the west.
With this background, I was recommended this new book by our editor, who suggested a change. Is this change a good one? Let us read on. No Time for Goodbyes by Andaleeb Wajid, whose previous works have been four novels, Kite Strings, Blinkers Off, My Brother’s Wedding and More than Just Biryani. Andaleeb Wajid who has worked as a technical writer, content writer and food writer, clearly seems to be inspired by the cult classic of our high-school days. Also called the Young Adult genre these days (Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift fans in the West are just crazy about this young adult thing). Only thing is Andaleeb makes time travel a lot more easier in 2012, twenty seven years after Robert Zemeckis sent Michael J. Fox “Back to the Future“.
Tamanna, a typical teenager of 2012, without any concrete plans for her future is a Harry Potter fan and she picks up an old photograph of her mother and her three sisters with a stranger she has never known. The sepia tinted Polaroid photograph sends the girl back in time to 1982. For someone who fell in love with Bangalore when I visited the beautiful garden city in 1984, there is enough nostalgia in this book to make it a kind of aching feeling. It hurts to remember, I almost suffered a heat stroke in the same Bangalore in 2011.
Coming back to Tamanna, the girl who has just passed her class 10 and is expecting to go to pre-university college soon. She is totally at a loss when she lands in 1982 and meets her own mother Suma, who is actually younger than her at that point in time. There is deliciously sweet romance blooming between Tamanna and her mother’s neighbor Manoj. There is the typically girly cold-war between Tamanna and Suma. There are Suma’s sisters Reena and Vidya, who are kinder to her than her own mother. There is Manoj’s grandfather, the man who was responsible for bringing her back in time. And then there is Ajji, or the kind and loving grandmother. These characters hog most of the 200 pages novel narrated in 45 crisp chapters. Almost all the characters come across as real because I have lived in both these eras, 1982 and 2012 and have met people like them. Except of course the scientist who inadvertently succeeds in sending a girl back in time.
The writer takes a safe passage to justify any questions on a Polaroid triggered time-travel, in the form of a strange state of loss of consciousness or coma or something like that in the present for Tamanna when she goes back in time. She has invested some assisted research and some inspiration into constructing this story of multiple time-travels of a teenaged girl with rich imagination.
I must add here, I finished this book in a single day. With my history of taking really long time to read books and re-read chapters in between to get a proper hold, this must be kind of a new record. All said and done, “No Time For Goodbyes” can be a very decent weekend read during the monsoon season, especially for the teenaged readers and the just out of college kids. But a 44 year old Doctor, reading his first fantasy kind of novel too did enjoy this. And I must thank our editor for suggesting this decent rainy day read.
Details of the book:
No Time For Goodbyes
Author: Andaleeb Wajid
Published in India in 2014 June204 pages, soft cover
Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd.
Printed and bound in India by Thomson
Press India Ltd.