Graffiti by Joanie Pariera

Joanie-Pareira-334x336.jpgI received the book Graffiti by Joanie Pariera as a review copy from Writer’s Melon and would like to thank them for the same.  The story is set in Mumbai and Bengaluru in India and Denver and Los Angeles in USA and Sydney in Australia.

The blurb:

Told partly in first person, GRAFFITI is a humorous look at how people fall short of the expectations we have of them, dealing with friends or acquaintances enduring bereavement or similar tragic events. It is the story of Vipin, an Indian techie working in the USA, as he tries to cope with death of his wife. His few friends and colleagues offer little solace, but not for lack of trying. In fact, their well-meaning attempts are a constant source of frustration for Vipin.

Meanwhile he meets Rene, who while on an assignment from Bangalore, almost magically transforms his life. However Rene, a flighty, somewhat silly techie herself, has baggage of her own as Vipin soon realizes. They come in all shapes and sizes. There is Agni, Rene’s ex, Mark, a distant shadow and a formidable contender, and a ‘BFF’ Upasana (Upi), who unwittingly adds to the confusion. Not that Vipin ever acknowledges he’s actually interested in Rene in that special way, but by the time he is ready to do that, doing his own ‘growing-up’, will it be too late?

In an “All’s ‘as best as it can be’ that ends ‘somewhat’ well” tale, Graffiti, explores the raw emotions that the characters go through while being only partially aware that they don’t exist in a vacuum.

The story:

Vipin Roy is an Indian working in a software company in USA. He is married for six months, when he loses his wife, Pournami, in a road traffic accident. Once a confident software programmer, he becomes the doomsday man, a dream dasher, a pathetic loser and a murder and not an accident survivor.

Rene Murthy, the daughter of an IAS officer has grown up like a tomboy along with her two brothers. She works in a software firm which she had joined three years ago, just after her graduation. Her boyfriend Agni had walked out of her life after reneging on his promise to marry her. And he now wants to be her friend.

Upasana Singh/ Patel, Upi, her best friend since college, now her colleague, is married to Harish Patel who works for the Bangalore division of an ad firm. Upi makes her responsibility to bring happiness in Rene’s life and becomes her guardian of sorts. Upi is excited when Rene goes out with Ayub, the boy her parents have selected.

Mark Land, an art director/ ad film maker, is attracted to Rene at first sight when he sees her at an airport in Bombay. He knows she is the one for him and the moment was the one which he would remember forever as ‘when the bells chimed’ moment. He has never been a loser in his life and wants to be successful in his romantic pursuit. He knows he has no competition. Still, his interior decorator, Daisy, tells him that she will help him in his love story.

The book starts with a prologue where someone having a nightmare.

The story starts with Vipin is trying to get back to his life with the help of his friends cum ex-roommates, Subbu and Rohit. He is also the office confidante, with people coming and sharing their sad stories with him. He meets Rene, who is in Denver on her company’s assignment, at Subbu’s house and they become good friends. Once she comes to know of Subbu’s accident, she realizes that her dreams have some significance. When she is in Denver, suspicious activities happen in her office which link her to Kunal Amar Shah, a big success in Bollywood.

What happens when she comes back? Does Mark win? What happens to Vipin? Does he get over his grief? Read on……..

My take:

The story is about complex human relationships. There are many characters in the book, most of them well developed, and each character is linked to another through these relationships like a web. The characters are realistic and so are many situations in the book.

The story has been narrated in first person when it comes to Vipin, but for all the other characters the story has been narrated in third person.

There is tragedy, romance, suspense and humour in the book. The book is funny at times, especially the Vasu episode. I loved Mark’s desperation in trying to woo Rene. I did not like the way Vipin tries to get over his grief.

The best part of the book is the way the stories all converge to one point in the book.

Albeit a bit too long, it took me around a week to finish.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from Writers Melon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.




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