Wednesday 3 August 2016

Book review- The Story of A Suicide - By Sriram Ayer

About the book
This is a book in the form of a website. Sriram Ayer has beautifully captured the emotions of tumultuous young brains in this book that reads like nothing else you have read before. Sriram, who is the author of the book, is a social entrepreneur and has tried with this book to change the landscape regarding mental illnesses in India and also, through the 'How do I' section, to reach out to people who are in dire need of help and guidance. The illustrations are beautiful and have an old world charm to them. They help take the story forward in a coherent and presentable way.

About the plot (No spoilers)
It is the story of four interconnected lives of- Hari, Charu, Sam and Mani. The protagonists are the voices of today's youngsters. Their interpersonal relationships, aspirations and emotions make up the story of the book. It is a gripping tale and Sriram has told the story well. The story-telling is at its poised best during the chapter on a play which involves a conversation between Julius Caesar and Draupadi.

About the language
The language is kept simple and lucid. The conversations are in the form that today's generation can easily digest. People are tweeting stuff at each other and the colloquial words are generously strewn across the book replete with hashtags and @Mentions.

Author Sriram has founded an organization called NalandaWay which works for children. Other people behind this book are- Ghana, the illustrator, whose drawings lend a surreal feel to the book. The smudgy art with water colours goes perfectly will with the imperfections of the human mind the book deals with; Mansi S. Mehta - who is the content developer of the 'How do I' sections and copy editor. The 'How do I' section in each chapter has links which take you to pages where well-researched articles are written about the specific issues people might be facing; Sitara is also a copy editor for the book. The other contributors include-- Surya Balakrishnan (Director, Promo Video), Vedanth Bharathwaj (Singer and composer, Music Video), Tanya Dutt (Lyricist, Music Video), Hema Priyadarshini (Director, Music Video), Uday Danda (Voice over, audio book), Kirti Jayakumar (Campaign Manager), Mukesh Ravichandran (Campaigner), Raghavasimha D (Technology Consultant).

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