Reviewed by Madhulika Mitra ( her first of many more reviews for the blog hopefully!)
All these days of my life I tried my level best to know what guys talk amongst themselves and Tin Fish is like giving you a young boy’s diary well edited and composed of hilarious episodes. Tin fish is a nicely composed story of fun filled and challenging incidents of four young lads studying at a posh boarding school. It’s about Brandy, Porridge, Fish and PT Shoe. Thinking how guys can have such weird names, well these are the pet names of Barun Ray(The hero J ), Sanjay, Pratap and another guy whose name I do not remember. I bet you too cant because after reading the book for some time, you too will feel more associated to Brandy and not Barun.
Yes giving pet names to people is a part and parcel of our lives and so is there’s especially because they are school going kids but every pet name has a story. Brandy a Bengali chap, is sent to Mayo, a boarding school at Ajmer, and Tin fish is one of his favorite foods (though I do not really know why the book was named so, may be because they relished Tin fish and it stayed with them forever). He gets ragged, but then ends up making the best of friends in his life: Fish, porridge, and PT Shoe. They discuss of all things in this world, be it their hatred for kipling, Moraji desai’s Urine funda, zeeni baby(Zeenat Aman J). They are great company for each other in happiness and in sorrow.
A lot of people gripe about Indian authors blaming their books to be very narrative, having very simple English, but surprisingly these are a few things which matter to me. I ask you how nice can a book get if it’s as though someone is narrating it you so expressively, and I really do not like sitting with a dictionary because of the excessive verbiage in some books. I like it simple.
Tin Fish did justice to both my needs. A few more things which stood out were the way the author captured the honesty and innocence in these adolescents is and how well the stark reality of death is handled by them. Ya someone dies. I do not wish to reveal anything more.
When they leave the school after their boards I was in tears because I can so well relate to the pangs of separation from my closest friends after my tenth boards.
Owing to my busy days I read the book in parts, which sort of spoiled the fun, so I suggest read major chunks of the book together if you really want to enjoy it. Also one thing which I strongly felt not so appealing about the book, is that the author has been too descriptive about many things, where the book drags a little. All in all it is a book which would be thoroughly enjoyed especially by guys, a little less by girls since we can’t relate much. Another revelation about guys is they too are very emotional at times. So if you wish dive deep into your old fun times with your hostel mates Tin fish is for you.
Keep reading, keeps you healthy
Time for my stars: 3.5/5.
A special note for the author: Tin Fish was a breeze man :) :) :)