Book Review: Of Wooing, Woes, & Wanderings

What starts like a breath of fresh air, quickly turns into an emotional turmoil, and takes you for a whirlwind ride across the exotic lands and poignant sentiments as Amitabha Chatterjee tells the tale of wooing, woes, and wanderings of a young Indian – Rajarshi.

Told in first person, the story begins in El Tigre, the sensuous little town in Venezuela where the protagonist works in the oil rigs. In between his hectic work schedule, he meets a Latino girl, Marisel, who is straight out of his fantastical dreams and a much needed respite from the drab sessions at work. She is a passionate, evocative, and free thinking girl and he is not only emotionally confused but also enveloped in equally perplexing modern Indian values. What starts as an impulsive romance takes a serious turn for Marisel, but the protagonist leaves El Tigre during the political upheaval with no plans to return. His career as an oil man takes us from Venezuela, to India, Syria, Qatar, Egypt, and Oman.

The author combines the unfamiliar but hugely fascinating facets of  the work in oil companies with the life in far-flung lands with great expertise and it is clear that it is his first hand subject knowledge that gives the words a very authentic touch. Be it the use of Spanish language, the cultural details of Dier Ez Zor, the bureaucracy at the embassies in Delhi, a recipe that Marisel cooks, the author displays deep prowess in every area. The protagonist’s character is extremely well etched and you find yourself loving him despite his weaknesses; you root for him at every turn of events.

The words flow smoothly making the book an easy and gripping read. The intelligent humor of the book is subtle and leaves you smiling every now and then. The book combines everything from emotional drama, to rich romance, quick wit, serious power struggle, and the most amusing cultural anecdotes. Despite being all this, the book is not melodramatic and you can never guess what will hit you next.

On one hand the book reveals how the seemingly glamorous life of an oil man is in fact extremely demanding and at times, torturous compared to the monotonous desk job. On the other hand, the author weaves a web of words with such strong imagery that it leaves you yearning for the delightful sights of the Nile and El Tigre.

A wonderful first book that will not only entertain you but also educate you about the little known cultures and the well-kept secrets of the oil rigs. Go grab a copy now.

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One Response to “Book Review: Of Wooing, Woes, & Wanderings”

  1. I think your blog appears on Gyaana books website. That is because yours was one of the best reviews till date 🙂

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