AND WE REMAINED… - A REVIEW
Curiosity always gets the better of us in every situation. Our curiosity is piqued when something is left incomplete be it a story, a statement, a tidbit of news or information.
Asad Ali Junaid’s book caught my attention out of curiosity due to it’s unique title And We Remained… There is a sense of incompletion to it. Immediately questions start arising. Remained how, where and many others. One read of the novel and the title starts to make sense. The depth and meaning behind these words and their connection to the story make them the perfect choice for the title.
The story revolves around five friends, their experiences in college and those in the outside world. Set in the backdrop of a gradually changing India in the remaining few years of the 20th century and those of the 21st, it’s heartening to see that they manage to keep in touch and update each other of the happenings in their lives via email.
Their experiences are bound to remind the reader of their own college days : lounging with friends, college festivals, inedible hostel food, perpetually broke financial status, awkward encounters with the opposite sex and relive them through these five protagonists. One of the protagonists echoes my sentiments when he says “ feels like a trip back to college.”
The back and forth style of narration through mails and Individual perspectives is pretty unique and fascinating to read. It provides a certain amount of credibility and authenticity to the narrative.
Asad Ali Junaid has wisely divided the book into two parts. The introductory quote on love is a small giveaway as to what the reader can expect in the subsequent pages, a story which thousands of Indians love to watch on the big screen and small screen. There are quite a few Bollywood and Hollywood reference which the reader can identify with and associate. The second quote by Harriet Beecher Stowe is very moving. I heartily commend Asad Ali Junaid on his choice of introductory quotes as they both are apt.
What I liked about the book was the multiplicity of relationships and emotions that the author explores : love, infatuation, bonding of friends to name a few. The book is pretty fast paced and very engaging. Asad Ali Junaid offers a resolution and does not keep the reader hanging. The book seems to have a happy ending although it’s not explicitly written. If you have a few hours to spare and need something interesting to read, then give And We Remained… a shot. I give it a 3/5.
P.S : The cover of the novel earned me a few raised brows.