Book Review : An Excursion of Insight : Harsh Agarwal

An Excursion of Insight is a bold book. No one these days writes about an Engineering college, unless it is in one of the metros. The story is based on the backdrop of an Engineering college in Assam,  where students from all around the country as well as few international students study.

Quite a rare place, you may say, but definitely not unrealistic. The main story proceeds on the life of a few Engineering students, and the various encounters they face during their collective stay. The perceived love between a simple-thinking Bhutanese guy and a rich girl from India has been depicted, in a rather immature manner. However, this immaturity is not only acceptable, but also beautiful.

As someone who has stayed in surroundings of that sort, I found the book quite absorbing in its descriptions. The flavors of Assam and adjoining areas, and the myths surrounding the place is amazingly explored by the young author. The story does enforce a few stereotypes at some places, but these are formed on the basis of the outlook of students in such a situation. There are indications to show that this depiction is extraneous to the author himself.

The biggest achievement of the book is to bring to the fore the conditions of people who are neither the most privileged, nor are they as so unlucky as people in various other parts of the country. It is all about how modernity as well as an ambitious mindset is gripping this class of youth so fast.

The cultural differences one faces while coming from different backgrounds is well-depicted. The main story is not as strong as the backdrop, and could have been written with a much stronger overtone. It is true that  certain twists and turns are placed rather awkwardly. In other words, the author could have written a bit more about the obvious too, but he chose to trade this aspect off with brevity. Written very colloquially, it is lucid and has a very good flow. I enjoyed reading it, I definitely think you will do as well.

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