Monday, 8 August 2016

The Story of a Suicide by Sriram Ayer: a review

For a weekend read or for a quick but crisp read, what do you desire? Especially when you are travelling and you don’t have place to carry a paperback book? Of course an E-book! Now, with technology evolving every moment most people are suffering from the storage issues on their respective smart phones (people like me, that is!). This book is exactly for people like that. Why? Because the book is in web format which means that the book is written and published in the form of a website. Now, all you got to do is go to the website of the book ( and then read the book then and there. I won’t go for the blurb of the book because the title “The story of a suicide” says it all. But I would surely like to introduce everyone to the author of the book, who made it all possible.

About the people who made it possible- Author Sriram has founded an organization called NalandaWay which works for children. Other people behind this book are- Ghana, the illustrator, whose drawings lend a surreal feel to the book. The smudgy art with water colours goes perfectly well with the imperfections of the human mind the book deals with; Mansi S. Mehta- who is the content developer of the ‘How do I’ sections and the copy editor. The ‘How do I’ section in each chapter has links which take you to pages where well-researched articles are written about the specific issues people might be facing; Sitara is also a copy editor for the book. The other contributors include- Surya Balakrishnan (Director, promo Video), Vedanth Bharathwaj (Singer and Composer, Music Video), Tanya Dutt (Lyrics, Music Video), Hema Priyadarshini (Director, Music Video), Uday Danda (Voice over, audio book), Kirti Jayakumar (Campaign manager), Mukesh Ravichandran (Campaigner), Raghavasimha D (Technology Consultant).

It is a feat not many people can achieve. Bringing all these people from such varied fields together under the same roof and then bringing out the best of each of them is something that is super. Kudos, to the person who thought of this and made it possible with such a great team. Before I go on to commenting on the story and presenting my take on it, I would like to say that this book is a must read. No, not for anything else but for the various “How do I” sections of the book. At the end of every chapter, there are a set of questions that deals with what the chapter had to tell the readers and every question and their answers are so well researched that I would suggest everyone to read the book.

Another thing that I liked about the book was along with the chapter, at the end of every chapter rather, there are links for listening to the audio of the chapter which basically makes this also an audio book. For the people who would want to go for the audio version, click the link at the end of every chapter and there you have it. Next, the illustrations. I would say that the book would have been incomplete without the illustrations. They lend a totally new meaning to the book and that makes all the time spent with the book worthwhile.

Now, coming to the story. This book was more than what the story had to offer. It needs a calm mind to understand what the book was trying to portray and yes, the book was successful in doing so. With the help of the illustrations and the self help sections, this book delivers something that remains with the mind for long. Having every element that the current generation is dealing with, would like to read- this book is impactful in its own way. Suicide, LGBT rides, Cyber Crime- the perfect ingredients and the perfect blend. I would like to say that the way the characters have been built up is wonderful and very well thought of.

For the people who are thinking that it is a big deal to read a whole book on the web browser then do not worry, it is a very fast and smooth read. Well proofread. So, there will not be any type of problem when you would want to read the book. More so, it is a very crisp read. If you ask me what the problems I felt for the book were, then I would tell you that the main problem that I faced with the book was the narration. For a story and topic so strong and everything on point, the expectations of the book only rise high. Only if the narration was crisper and strong then there would’ve been no stopping for the book. With the style and the way of writing, the author promises a far better book the next time.

The best part for me about The Story of a Suicide? The self help sections, the presentation and the boldness of the story. For me, this book is 4 out of 5.

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