Book Review: No Direction Rome By Kaushik Barua

No Direction Rome book reviewWhat if in a war between evil and good, evil wins? He then will go on executing all the good people at mass gathering spots of his newly owned capital. Like Lord Ned Stark got executed at Kingslanding in front of thousands of people; this includes her daughter, some infants and his ardent followers. After all the executions done. He – the evil will start passing strict laws to strike down all the hidden enemies to his newly formed state. It will set more stages of public executions. People will cheer on seeing perpetrators’ head rolling on ground. They will fill the sky with religious slogans. Then the peace will fall. Years will start passing on. He will make sensible rules to prolong his rule on land he won. He won’t let some war mongers create war like situations out of nothing. Instead he will setup a group of analysts and spies who will get him sane advices to run the state where everyone can feel that they belong to the state and the land which has just been won belongs to them. So the land can become the motherland for their kids and to the kids of kids. So someday they can go on waging wars for their motherland, which was, a war ago, motherland to some other kind of people. The kids will hear glorious war stories that how their forefathers won that important war over good people. The meaning of good in that state will be bad. So they will cheer being called bad. Then who was bad and who was good. You get directionless and that’s Kaushik Barua’s latest book is all about.

Written in unconventional style, ‘No Direction Rome’ seems like a 189 pages long Eminem song. You see angst, aggression, hopelessness and a frenzy race in present towards future. But that so called future doesn’t seem coming and protagonist keep running till their lungs lasts.  No Direction Rome’s protagonist Krantik is living in Rome and leading a life full of hopelessness. He works in a multinational company where he doesn’t find solace. Having a dead-end relationship with a daughter of an MP, he is trying to figure out where his life is leading him. On her fiancée request, he visits to Amsterdam where his fiancée Pooja tries to commit suicide. She then flies back to her family in India and here begins the unending rant that only ends in the final pages of the book. He goes on travelling alone, interacts with strangers, goes on stalking and talking to a girl standing alone in a corner then visits a place he has not prior intention of.

I doubt if dead-end relationship has anything to do with the psychologically upheaval lifestyle of the protagonist. He goes on dating a girl, he doesn’t familiar with and talks of crony capitalism on his first unannounced date. The real good thing about Kaushik Barua’s second book is its vivid descriptions. But I am reading him for the first time so I felt overwhelmed with the pace and bombarding of psychological rant. In one paragraph, he talks about having joint at his colleagues’ apartment and in second line he goes on telling that Rome is filled with crazy people. He says that the city is a big mental asylum where crazy people have been kept. Since relative of the inmates haven’t come to receive them so they have been let loose on streets like animals. And, to keep the streets safe they have been again locked up in their shiny offices. Then after few words he goes on saying he had three joints with his friends. He took orange juice and his friends got gin and tonics. In his long rants, he beautifully creates a window to interact with his readers to keep them engaged. While talking about the asylum rant, he says they had this asylum on the outskirts on the city, and then they had to shut it down, fiscal tightening etcetera (I like writing etcetera, it’s so much classier than abbreviation).  With his small comment as an author, he reconnects with the readers. But what I seriously felt that this seems good as long as you have got good stuff to throw on your readers because in some pages the pace goes extremely slow and boring.

The cover has been designed by a London based independent book cover page designer Arati devasher. Arati has used small caps font for the book & author’s name on the background of a whirlpool of dust and smoke. And, sides are adorned with symbolic Colosseum building which is upside down like a scene in Christopher Nolen’s movie Inception. The whole design of the cover collectively creates directionlessness mood of the book.

Collectively, it’s like a record of human life where everything is being recorded. The spoken and unspoken words, private thoughts and privates acts, conscious thoughts and unconscious thoughts, dreams and inner dreams too. It’s like a Spiderman prose where writer jumps from this scene to that scene within words and five to six word long sentences. You can miss an important event if reading casually.


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