Akash Bhasin, the protagonist of Local, has had enough. His wife has left him, his parents aren't interested, his siblings live abroad and, as if life didn't feel sufficiently inane, he works as a copywriter. From the emptiness within, he has to dig deep and convince people to buy more toothpaste. At 28, he wants out. A familiar feeling, you would think. It is his solution, however, that's rather unfamiliar. What Akash decides to do is give up all sense of direction and opt, instead, for the rootless, consistent rocking of a train.Rediff has a piece, The man who lived on a train, on Jaideep Varma's debut novel Local.
So, when he's finished with his day of product pitching, client servicing, corporate jargon and office intrigue, he surrenders himself, as it were, 'to the rocking homelessness....' of Mumbai's Western Railway. Going back and forth across 59.82 kilometres, he begins to find himself.
I find the concept of Varma's novel very intriguing, probably because I spend so much of my time daily in commuting from Ambernath to Andheri and back.
Hope to pick up the book sometime soon -- well, at least on my next visit to a bookshop. Meanwhile if anyone gets their hands on the novel, please post a review.