Saturday, May 11, 2013

An Excursion of Insight by Harsh Agarwal

Title: An Excursion Of Insight 
Author: Harsh Agarwal
Publishers: D.K. Publisher's Distributors
Date:  2013
Price: Rs. 190
Pages: 210


The image of Indian fictions has been changing a lot. Post the famous Chetan Bhagat debut in the scenario, the paperback fictions borders around college life or simply romances though lately, some commendable writings shone in the area. The industry is now slowly moving ahead of the peppy college romances to more serious mythological thriller or simply thriller. The college days are gone. The industry is maturing. And, in that realm of this juncture – Harsh Agarwal came out with “An Excursion of Insight” – another story in the backdrop of an Engineering College!! Deep sigh!!

The chances of being a misnomer were high – so, the author promises in the first line of his blurb “… but this does not tell the story of just another young lad!” Though the book starts with a usual prologue that comes with something shivering, accidental, unprecedented, or seemingly a glimpse of the climax – it takes a different route altogether thereafter. The college premise is located in Assam – one of the most underrated beautiful places of India. Just like the place, the novel took a different turn altogether.

The story revolves around few engineering students – their lives, love, and dreams. The main protagonist was a Bhutanese guy. The simple thinking, small wishes – all are well depicted through the character. Though his affair with the rich girl seems immature – the emotional sentiments are being portrayed in a realistic manner.

The author has used a lucid language. He is good in his narrative, rich in his vocabulary, still presents a smooth reading. Though in some parts – the book seemed a bit stretching – the vast arena he has tried to cover justifies it.

The author deserves kudos in evolving the character of the protagonist. There were many dramatic moments where the character grew. But very few of them carried off well. He brought in forth all the contemporary issues as racial discrimination, politics and even the inter – cultural acceptance problems. Through the characters – the author honestly tried to portray the current issues related to the youths of India. But, the book never delved deep into the issues – rather it explored the inner psyche of the minds to explore the emotions and the realizations. The realization of the life – the realization of love – and more precisely he realized the truth that over-shadowed the overall society of the so-called human beings. He got the insight in his journey. And, thus he has correctly justified the name of his book.
But the show-stealer in his book is the beauty of Assam. Be it the valleys or the tea gardens or the myths surrounding the place – Assam stood out as the best character that gave the plot a proper base to prosper.

Though a bit philosophical at times – and a bit stretching too – the book portrays a deep insight – very rarely found in the Indian paperbacks. The author deserves compliment for this bold attempt. And, the book deserves a try.

Positives: The description of the backdrop is pretty good the author has incorporated many contemporary issues involving the youths of the country.

Negatives: Some parts of the book are stretched,which could have been edited better.


This book has been reviewed by Sankha Ghosh:  Sankha Ghosh was never born in that 'City of Joy', never dreamt of being a banker, never watched a Godard, never loved Kafka, never fell for thatSolitary Reaper, never danced on a friend’s wedding, never fought for human rights, never had a crush at college and never ever aspired to work on a novel! Never was he as simple as this! #He wishes


I thank the author Harsh Agarwal for a copy of the book.

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