“The Meanderers” is a compelling coming of age novel that captures in a vivid manner, the diverse perspectives of life viewed through the prism of its protagonist. The story of Om Vats is an epigrammatic agglomeration of triumphs and tribulations. The paradigm shifts in attitudes, deeds and outlook that form the underlying essence of Om’s progress through various phases of life make for some arresting reading. As a child, Om is taken under the munificent wings of his Naani (Grandmother) who in addition to doting over her grandson, also inculcates in him a philosophical bent of mind embellishing the innocence that is a child’s sole prerogative. This innocence, however is ended abruptly when an adolescent Om not only experiences the inevitable puberty, but also the invariable tug and pull of infatuation. As both Trigonometry and the temptations offered by an amorous Varsha clamour and compete for Om’s attention, he experiences for the first time the preternatural sensual emotions that hitherto remained latent within him. Om also gains the advantages of pure friendship when Rohit, a classmate with an affluent background becomes his confidant and sounding board. Rohit not only protects Om from the constant bullying of the rogue-in-school Sahil and his sidekicks, but also handholds his friend as the duo traverse the roads of sexual fantasy.
The third significant phase in Om’s career materializes itself in the form of his youth. As an aspiring technology professional who aspires to land a career in the United States of America, Om moves to Delhi from Jaipur to study in one of the most prestigious Institutes of technology. The lust in adolescence metamorphoses into true love when Om in a chance encounter meets, falls in love with and affirms his undying need for Ayesha, another girl who although surrounded by an environ of materialistic pleasures is not a victim to their trappings. The description of Om’s determined and focused pursuance of his love forms one of the most stirring parts of the novel.
The author William Zinsser once said, “to defend what you’ve written is a sign that you are alive.” Dhawal Trivedi takes this advice to heart by written in a style that is both startling and bold. Whether it be the passages involving Rohit teaching Om the act of masturbation or a description of the carnal intimacy of Om and Ayesha, the reader is both shocked and awed. There are equally somber and reflective examples of writing that keep the reader engaged and also to introspect. The uneasy relationship between Om and his father Mahesh, the conflicting emotions characterizing their interactions, a forced ritual of charade that ties them to each other have been set out in a refreshingly transparent manner. The defining aspect of Mr. Trivedi’s writing is simplicity. Devoid of verbiage, bereft of bombast and lacking in pretentiousness, “The Meanderings” has remote shades of Rohington Mistry. The tapestry weaved is uncomplicated and the end result extremely utilitarian.
Dhawal Trivedi with this offering has clearly demonstrated his potential as an author to watch out for!
“The Meanderers” – wanderings into territories uncharted and terrains unfamiliar.
To know the author better – dhawaltrivedi.com
To know a lot more about Om and his tryst with destiny, “The Meanderers” may be purchased at: