‘The Long Road’ by Dr. Vivek Banerjee is a breezy read. If you look for simplicity and innocence in writing, a fast moving plot which will not bore you even for a minute, and also an uncanny satisfaction and mere remembrance even after the story ends – this is the book you must be looking for. It may touch nooks and corners of your own life, and you will end up wandering how the resemblance could be so stark!
‘The Long Road’ has major protagonists in Rahul and Sarika, and Ranjiv, Hina and Sagarika. Rahul and Sarika kept falling in and out of love, and finally, life is what brings them closer to each other. They came closer only for Sarika to go away again, this time physically only, away to some distant city. And as often happens to a long-distance relationship (in this case, even if they were married), they had to face challenges, in the form of utter loneliness, infidelity, one night stands. Sarika has been portrayed as the modern age girl who fights always with the system/society that has kept girls inside cocoons for ages. But in the process of her fighting the system, she keeps losing things more important to lead a life. She alienates her boyfriend of three years (in the first part of the storyline), forces her boyfriend-turned-husband to stay away from her in a distant city. In this context, Rahul’s character has been phenomenally portrayed as that guy extraordinaire who does not snap even if he seemingly does not receive his fair share of importance from his better half.
As the other couple, Ranjiv and Hina were the ones who knew how to roll one’s life keeping one’s loved ones happy and satisfied. Hina’s advent to ‘real life’ can form another story in its own rights. Ranjiv’s support and unconditional love made her stronger and she gave him back every bit of his fair share of affection.
The story of these four, along with timely intervention in the story by Sagarika (and also her gay MRI husband), Dr. Patil et al have made ‘The Long Road’ a really good read.
Writing: A pediatrician by profession, Dr. Vivek Banerjee has portrayed different facets of life of a medical student with extraordinary precision. Dr. Vivek Banerjee has a simple way of expressing his mind. Never in the total 176 pages did I come across any word which is too complex. Even the presence of a complex sentence was much less conspicuous with respect to compound ones. His writing is not too wordy and hence, easy on the reader. And an indescribable innocence is what has made ‘The Long Road’ a good read.
‘The Long Road’ is a much recommended novel, for everyone, irrespective of age and hence, level of maturity. Medical students will connect with it much, technically. Leaving those technical aspects, the story of life as a whole, as told in the book, will be equally enjoyable for all types of readers.
Overall Rating: 8/10