Bombay Rains Bombay Girls-book review

The very name of the book: ‘Bombay rains Bombay girls’ gave me a Bollywood filmi kind of feeling  This book by Anirban Bose infuses a breath of fresh air into the world of fiction, with a little bit of the Bollywood melodrama, of the 80’s .  I start off reading a book by first taking some time off to research about the author and it was no different this time. What evoked a lot of interest about the author is that he is a foreign returned person and I have always had an overwhelming admiration for such  people!

A doctor by profession, Anirban Bose’s debut work: ‘Bombay rains Bombay girls’ deals with the minutiae of undergrad medical life like, love, friendship, exams and student politics.  The narration and plot of this book is reminiscencet of Chetan Bhagat’s, ‘Five Point Someone’.  This book revolves around six medical students: Adi, Harsha, Sam, Toshi, Rajeev and Pheru, who come to Bombay for further studies..  Projected as misfits, the book shows their transformation not only as successful medical professionals but also as individuals who can be extremely humane and caring.  The book is partly a narration by the protagonist, Adityaman Bhatt, aka ‘Adi’, a Ranchi lad who comes to Bombay to pursue Medicine at the Grant Medical College and Sir JJ Hospital, Bombay.  “You’ve got to see two things in Bombay: the Bombay rains and the Bombay girls” is the advice that Adi gets when he is all set to leave for Bombay.  This book shows the transformation of Adi from a shy and insecure small town lad to a successful student and a confident individual, with leadership qualities.  Some parts of the book deal about ragging but it mainly focuses on love, heartbreak and friendship.

Since we were kids we have always been told  that ‘medicine is about life and death’ and that ‘doctors are next to God’  However, one thing that really impressed me about this book is that the patients are not to be considered as specimens but humans, with a mind and a body This fact the students are constantly reminded about by Dr.Choski’s statement: “Wearing a white coat and carrying a stethoscope around your neck means providing relief.  There’s very little we can do to cure the patients but we can bring relief by simply listening to them”.

The book starts off with the author’s excessive dosage of verbiage but it gets engrossing, after a few pages, reminding you of your own college days.  Towards the end, for a few pages, the author loses track and starts describing the journey of these students, by train, to Nagaland.  However, my brownie points to the author are for the final pages of the book..Here, the protagonist Adi, writes a letter to his girlfriend  beautifully depicting,  life in general, and the vagaries of life.

A wonderfully written book which is  worth reading as it gives  lessons on compassion, humanity and friendship.  Anirban Bose is an author who has proved himself as a very good writer with his debut work itself and he is surely a writer to be kept an eye out for.

Balaji Ananthanpillai

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