Dystopia by Manoj V. Jain is one of the rare books which I would have missed out if not suggested by a friend, Aishwarya Gupta. A book by a young Indian author typically gives you a feel that it would be another easy read love story or a lost and found type of story but this is not.
It is a beautifully written book, a different style wherein two narratives are parallelly running. One is of the reunion of friends and another one is a commentary by the guiding spirit wherein she gives the background of the events, persons/ individuals. The author states that there are two kingdoms, one is the blissful Kingdom of Shambala where kids are protected, groomed and guided by their parents. After this fairy tale, they enter a dark kingdom of dystopia, where they are all alone, they need to experience and experiment in this world and take their own decisions. No one is there to guide and groom them except for the guiding spirit of dystopia. In the reunion of friends, the guiding spirit gives the background or the reasons as to why a kid behaved or did what he did. Like parental pressures or their aspirations, which no one else except them was or is aware of.
The reasons definitely shake you as they are common in any current parent-child relationships but the impact they have opens up our eyes and makes this book a must read for all parents and teachers.
Last but not the least it also touches upon a very sensitive but last discussed topic of child abuse and how it forced a kid to commit suicide as there was no one whom she could look up to for help. Kudos to this wonderful book. The only point of disagreement is that the second stage cannot be a dystopia, whose meaning is an imaginary place where everything is unpleasant. In my views, this stage is beautiful in its own way. I definitely recommend this book as a must read.
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