Book Review: Dear Mr Bachchan by Saurav Dutt

Slum and Bollywood is a lethal combination that sparks buzz. Just by reading the blurb, I was transported to that time when Slumdog Millionaire was my favourite movie. I loved the concept more than the implementation. I have huge fascination to watch or read about someone rising from rags to riches. This novel was bang on my expectations. As I thought out, it turned out exactly. 

The comparison between the movie Slumdog Millionaire and Mr Bachchan may not run for longer. One was the movie, based on a novel, and this one recently arrived on similar lines. I am aware both are way different but the grim portrayal of life in slums is common in both. In this story, the lead character is a twelve-year-old boy who wants to go higher in life by watching movies of his famous actor (idol) Amitabh Bachchan.

He finds Mr Bachchan so magical that he tries all routes to meet him. For instance, he writes letters, tries to grab attention during the Sunday meet-ups, but one day the opportunity comes knocking at his home when his uncle Abhishek is called to Mr Bachchan’s house to receive a letter of a loan waiver. The loan waiver and the sad situation of farmers in the country acts as a catalytic element in the novel.

Vikram is emotionally attached to Mr Bachchan. He feels sorry for him when his elder brother shames people on the sets of Mr Bachchan. The small boy cares for his idol – he wanted to know whether Mr Bachchan forgiven him or not. The first part is about finding the ways to connect with Mr Bachchan. Once that happens, in the second part, some events cause guilt in Vikram. Now he seeks forgiveness from his idol. The novel takes a drastic turn and wounds up and down with emotions.

It was filled with humour and heartbreak to notice how that child reacted and moved ahead in life after meeting his idol, Mr. Bachchan. If you want to know the inside story where a slum boy connects with Big B, please read it either on Kindle or in Paperback. And one thing is sure, you will not get bored, rather you will find yourself inspired and full of hope. It’s a great novel with so much to learn about life from the legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan.

The story moves at a measured pace and nothing seemed carried out in haste. However, at times I got confused with the farmer events. I had trouble knowing whether that farmer guy Abhishek was from Uttar Pradesh or Maharashtra. Full of quirky wit, heartbreak, hope, and high spirit, the novel is worth a read for the Bollywood and the Big B fans.

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