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Book Review: Pawan by Sorabh Pant

by Enakshi J
(Bangalore, India)





PAWAN: The Flying Accountant
Author: Sorabh Pant
Publisher: Rupa Publishers
Rating: 3.5/5

It is rightly said that our talent is God’s gift to us. What we do with it is our gift back to God. ‘Pawan’ is an intelligent and witty literary feat. It narrates the story of an accountant cum God-sent protector- Pawan, who is disorganized, derelict and deliberately obtuse to his powers. Accountant in the morning before the mortal flesh, Pawan (or Arjun Singh) is a demigod at night before the immortal existence. His fuddy-duddy nature presents him as an oddity but he seems complacent and happy. The story explores his journey of self-discovery and realization. Mistake me not, for this is not an inspirational story. The prowess of the author to give words to his creative imagination is worth appreciation.

Offbeat yet relatable, this story uses humour, irony, ridicule and exaggeration to bring out the dark side of politics, beliefs and notions. A stand-up comedian by avocation, the author’s flair for words can be seen in his writing too. With good vocabulary, the narration is strong but the outline of individual chapters is weak. It is more like too many parallel stories running together but none of them reaching a closure. While one might be busy developing a connection with the protagonist in the first two chapters, the third chapter might leave the reader in the lurch, wondering how to join the dots.

The story begins with ‘Pawan’ trying to end his life as he has lived enough. It is then that we get to know that he is immortal and
mere jumping off the building or a shot from the gun won’t kill him. He lives with his guardian (aunt) and has no social life. Most of his time is spent on the trees because they are ‘not just trees, but something more to him’. Unaware of the worldly matters, he has a cross to bear. He is able and has the supreme power of immortality, yet his mind refuses to accept this fact. Rakesh Bakshi, General Taunque, the squad of four young men, Kelly and Dr Ling are the sidekicks in the story.

General Taunque summons a team that comprises of an affluent Bakshi, Kelly (adroit at mission execution), four young comrades-Afzal, Manoj, Darius and John and the demigod who is reluctant to accept his real identity- Pawan. The story is set in the times when China had decided to conquer Arunachal Pradesh without much noise, gunshots and detonating bombs. The only way to stop them is by convincing Pawan to fight for his land as China has Dr Ling operating the Chinese Dragon. The robust machine is a mechanical killer.

For me, the story could have been finished in four chapters because the rest is all action with a little twist here and there. I felt the story was dragged a bit. However, I can’t deny the fun I had while reading the subtle mockery of our government, politicians and power-hungry rich businessmen.

Overall, the story has something new to offer and the climax will give you moments of genuine heartache.

Best Wishes to the author.
Buy this book from: Amazon
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