What is mid-life? It is that period of a person’s life spanning from approximately 40 to 65 years of age. This period is believed to be stressful since people become more conscious about their age, mortality, purpose of life etc. In this book, Rajat Narula narrates the story of a middle aged man Sameer who is not happy with his life in spite of having no reasons to complain. The Jasmine Bloom is published by Srishti Publishers.
Sameer is a middle aged man going through his mid-life crisis. He feels ignored at his work place as well as in his house. On the other hand Kavita, his wife finds life boring with a husband always thinking of his work and promotion. They have two children Tania and Pari of age 16 years and 10 years respectively. Pari is a happy kid. She is the chatter box who keeps the house lively. Tania being a teenager needed her own space.
Meanwhile Sameer gets into relationship with his colleague Ritu, a younger lady who was struggling with an abusive husband. Ritu has an autistic son. Sameer and Ritu creates their own world of fantasy to get their physical needs satisfied. Though there was a sense of guilt inside, Sameer could not control his mind whereas Ritu feels no wrong about her relation with Sameer.
In the midst of all these chaos there is office politics, a well planned game against Sameer. It was a turning point in Sameer’s life when he lost his job.
What was wrong with all these peoples’ life? Did Kavitha find out Sameer’s affair with Ritu? Why couldn’t Sameer stop himself when we knew he was not doing the right thing? What was Ritu’s problem? Being a teenager, how did all this affect Tania?
Many many questions!! And one answer – ‘The Jasmine Bloom’
The author has a good command over language. It was an easy read. But it took me little long to complete since I was in festive mood and the story was flowing in some other direction ?.
Yes, it disturbs you throughout the read. Sameer is anyhow not going to get reader’s love or sympathy in this story. But once you finish the book, you will come to know that you don’t hate any other characters. That is where the author wins.
The character I loved in this book is Tania. According to me she is the one who got most affected by all these confusions in Sameer’s life. In addition to Tania’s reactions on certain issues, if more of her feelings were included, it would have added to the charm of the story.
The blurb of the book says ‘The Jasmine Bloom is a story of love, lust, ruin and resurrection’. I recommend this book to every middle aged person over there. It simply tells you not to do the mistakes Sameer did in this story. Life is beautiful if you understand the worth of people in your life. There will be only regret once we loss our dear ones.
An interesting thing abut this novel is that most of the chapters are named after hindi movie names like Masti, Black, Kama Sutra, Koshish, Oh My God etc.
I feel this story will be taken in the right sense by those people who are in their mid-life. Right sense does not mean extra marital affair will be taken positively. Not every person who is unhappy with his life gets into wrong relationships.
Rest of the population who are yet to reach the mid-life age may interpret the story as another normal story of cheat and lust which is common in today’s life style.
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Author : Rajat Narula
Rajat Narula is a lead financial management specialist at The World Bank. He has published several poems and articles and won the Fairfax District award in USA for his poetry. He has worked and lived in India, Indonesia and USA.