Book Name – Once There Was Me
Author – Bobby Sachdeva
Publisher – Pan Macmillan India
Page Count – 419
Buy your copy here – https://amzn.to/2WxjX5o
Being a 14-year-old, witnessing some brutal happenings around you is not at all easy. I simply cannot even imagine it. The second book by Bobby Sachdeva is a thought-provoking novel which talks about his life transformation and his perception of religion. Also, very intricately has brought out the essence of his real-life mixed with reel life. There was some fiction and some reality, which cannot be underestimated.
Sitting in an almost burned house, Bobby’s father narrates his life story to his son during the time of India and Pakistan partition. The book begins with the scene of anti-Sikh riots that took place in Delhi in 1984, as it was believed that then India’s Prime Minister Ms. Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. The book talks about the hardships and struggles faced by Bobby and his family (author and protagonist of the story) started thereafter. They chose to leave behind the unstable living conditions of Delhi, and decided to migrate to Amritsar with the hopeful tears of better livelihood in their eyes. Time and again they were tested by their destiny, but as we say luck always doesn’t stand in your favor.
Due to an intense increase in the number of killings in Amritsar, Bobby was sent to America where his college friends BR and Jassi Randhawa had already established their small business. Living in America and finding some concrete sources to settle there did not pay him any sweet fruits and unfortunately, he returned to India. This time, once he was back in Amritsar, things changed drastically and Bobby’s life began.
Trauma felt by this Sikh family was undeniably very heartfelt. The weaving of this story was such a fashion, that one could easily relate to it. The narration was simple with no tough language or vocabulary. Not writing a complete autobiography but mixing it with some fiction was a plus point for the book. I liked the characterization of the book which was pretty basic. Chapters were short, which was a good thing.
There are many characters in the book which may create confusion for some while reading, but writing on one’s life and having several characters if justified. I felt the book being dragged in some parts of the book. The ending of the book was very abrupt. I felt it was very sudden and then I was like *poof*, what did just happen? Nonetheless, I’ll suggest everyone try this book, and hopefully, you’ll be able to connect with it.
There were some amazing moments and scenes and for that, you should give this book a try!