I For India, is 26 year old Karan Khanna’s debut book. Karan writes a story weaved around the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and how the protagonist of the book also named Karan reacts to it.
The story is pretty simple, easy to read. Karan Sehgal is an Indian living in Australia and has everything going for him in life. His father owns a huge construction empire and there is nothing that is missing in their life. Except for the pull of motherland! This is what brings Karan to Mumbai, India and as is likely to happen with any NRI who has never stepped on the soil of his motherland and witnessed firsthand the issues facing the country, he finds himself utterly disillusioned and unhappy seeing the state the city is in. The rampant corruption, the class divide, the close to nothing development. So he is not too happy with the state of affairs but life goes on, till he finds a girl who he falls in love with hook line and sinker! The day he proposes marriage to her is 26/11 and they happen to be at the Taj. He manages to escape but sadly his fiancée cannot. Utterly miserable he returns back to Australia, but the call of motherland brings him back, this time with the aim to improve the life of the others. Till this point the book was all good but after this the book goes into a total I, me, myself mode. Where he only talks about his success, reaching new heights in social entrepreneurship but that too is cut short when he has a bitter encounter with the UP cops. He once again decides to chuck it all and chooses to become a politician, since he realizes, that that’s the only way he can make effective changes in the country, if you please! And then again it goes into a monologue of how successful he is at that. Also successful enough to be shot at and acknowledged by no less than the PM and asked to share the platform with him.
Yes the book does get unreal at times and leaves you with unbelievable optimism. Also in parts you feel the author is far suspended from reality and at places too filmy! But the thought behind the book is commendable. 26/11 managed to change a lot of perspectives in the youth of our country, else why would, a businessman turn to writing a book on his ideas of changing the country’s scenario and more youth involvement.
Here’s wishing Karan Khanna a long and happy innings as a writer from The Book Lovers!