The Crossover Year by Bhargavi Balachandran
Read more at her blog : http://www.bedazzledeternally.blogspot.in/
Meet Sri Anuprabha, aka Anu, a twenty-nine year-old banker who is terrified of entering her thirties. She dreams of quitting her job at the bank, sporting yoga pants and traipsing around the world. Her world turns upside down when things go awry and she is faced with the prospect of spending her days watching Tamil serials. She comes up with a five-point plan for reclaiming her life back before she hits the big 30. But things are never as simple as drawing up a flowchart in real life, are they? Especially with a ghastly recession rearing its ugly head…. Anu bumbles through the corridors of domesticity and travels on a fun filled roller coaster ride in a bid to discover her passion in life. Along the way, she meets new people, experiences crazy new things and learns some hard lessons in marriage, friendship, parenting and life. The Crossover Year is a funny, yet heart-warming story of a woman in search of her identity, and a chronicle of her hilarious quest for discovering her inner mojo. Bring out a platter of cookies and a steaming mug of chai, and join Anu on the ride of her lifetime.
My take on the book:
I got the book for a review when I was a bit short for time especially for my reading. Never the less the book made time for itself. It is a straight forward story of a lady, a professional who is trying to make sense of her life. Something we all can easily identify with. Either before or after turning 30 we all do start to think about what we want to achieve form our life and the goals we had set for ourselves.
I liked the premise of the book and how she illustrated the mundane things of office like lists and pie charts becoming so important that she even thinks in diagrams and draws up lists to make sense of her life.
Her method of making lists of trying to achieve her goals and the alter-ego of ‘Anu – the brave’ were a nice touch to the story. Don’t we all have an alter-ego that tells us to do things which we find nearly impossible to do?
The simple narrative reads very smoothly and all aspects of the Tam-bram life and all the relatives with their nosy questions are scripted effortlessly. The story unfolds a bit slowly but picks up the pace mid- way, managing to keep the reader glued to the tales and trials of Anu.
The friends she makes on the way – I don’t want to disclose how they guided her and helped her choose the direction and supported each other adding depth and meaning to the story. In fact I think more than one friend of Anu can have their own story told 😉 (Another novella perhaps) The husband, in-laws and many other characters like her college friend Jimmy add a very human touch and bring out the character and personality of Anu.
The writer sheds light on the various aspects of working in a high pressure environment and how a degree doesn’t teach us life skills or how to handle conniving colleagues. The dissatisfaction in spite of working and living the lifestyle coveted by many leads Anu upon a journey of self discovery.
The story has a lot of substance and actually makes us realise how we all are slaves of the so called “Public Opinion” but along the way the main protagonist Anu grows up and starts living for herself on her terms.
The author has tried to touch upon many issues and sometimes it felt as if Anu was facing problems that had no ending. The final chapter reads like a movie with all things coming together, too many things but you don’t mind it. It is working out for Anu, as if she had literally ‘Crossed Over’ to good times. The ending works out for her on many levels and leaves the reader with a good feeling.
Personally I recommend it for the pleasure it gives as you turn the last page and find yourself rooting for Anu.
Pick up this novel and be surprised as you too will realise that ordinary decisions will shape your life towards an extraordinary journey!