I received the book As Boys Become Men by Mukul Kumar as a review copy from Rupa Publications and I would like to thank Rizwan Khan of Rupa for sending me the book.
Freedom, friends and fun. That’s how most of us remember our college years. But for those studying to get into the coveted Indian Civil Services, college life acquires an additional layer. As Boys Become Men revolves around three such boys, Mihir, Uday and Sandeep, who set out together to crack the Civil Services exam. Narrated by the thoughtful and intense Mihir, this book explores college life, friendship, romance, leaving home and adjusting to a new environment, and describes how negotiating the path between dharma and desire, love and lust, can be tricky.
A sparkling story of the bond between a boisterous trio, the book will take you on a journey of discovery, where boys become men, and students become civil servants. In the course the book also ends up telling us what not to do when writing the Civil Services exam. A slice-of-life tale with a ‘Mona Lisa’ flavour that offers fun and romance aplenty, this book also imparts philosophical truths that will help every young person out to discover life.
Mihir Kumar is a confused IAS Officer posted in Delhi, he wants to write but his job and responsibilities do not allow him to take up writing as a full time career. So his wife Ruchi suggests that he start penning down his experiences and take it up from there.
As he starts to write, the story starts from when Mihir was a college student, to when he is a Civil Services aspirant and then a Beaurucrat.
The story starts in the present and goes into the past, this is common in many stories but the author has depicted it in present tense and named the chapters differently. The story is simple and the language is easy to follow. The story has been written in both lighter and serious vein. Some scenes have been described in a way that it was easy for me to visualize them. The relationship between Mihir and his friends, Uday and Sandeep has been described beautifully.
The author has described the life of a person living in the Delhi University area and preparing for the Civil Service Exams. Aspiring Civil services candidates can get a taste of what they will go through when they prepare and also about the various materials needed to prepare for the exams. The story has instances where the author takes the flashback into another flashback and tells the reader what prompted Mihir to take up Civil services. There are parts in the story where I thought it to be an autobiographical account.
An interesting read for readers who aspire to be something.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.