Saturday, 26 November 2016

Book Review #69 : Deep Singh Blue

Book: Deep Singh Blue;
Author: Ranbir Singh Sidhu;
Publisher: HarperCollins;
Pages: 243;
Price: Rs.499

Often wise and sad beyond his years, teen narrator Deep Singh in his book, "Deep Singh Blue", primarily tells two overlapping stories: one of romantic love and the other of his troubled immigrant family.

Deep falls in love with an older, married woman, who is abused, unhinged, and often mean. Meanwhile, his older brother Jag descends into a seeming psychosis, finding secret meanings in magazine clippings and finally falling into total silence. Deep’s parents, however, refuse to acknowledge his brother’s illness, and are instead determined to find a suitable Sikh bride for him. This harrowing book has the trappings of a coming-of-age novel, but Deep has no comfortable place at which to arrive. 

Admiration. That is the word that spontaneously came to me after I finished reading this book. It is a book about a migrant, but it does not invoke nostalgia about the home country. The protagonist, who is born and brought up outside India, knows the country and the Sikh culture only through video cassettes and through the stories told to him by his parents. He does not find himself in those stories. His only pursuit is of what lies ahead and his path is mixed up.

Through the first half of the book, the reader follows the book’s protagonist, Deep Singh, through his confusions. The protagonist is lonely, immensely lonely, but the novel is not about loneliness or about an emotional or cultural pain. Instead, Deep Singh Blue explores the deep angst of being and a human’s relationship with the world.

The author establishes that the protagonist is interested in books, reading, knowledge. The protagonist is in severely unjust situations – in his family relations, in his mother’s blind defiance of his elder brother’s mental health, in his father’s boorish behaviour, in his uncle’s interference in the family and in his relationship with Lily – whom he covets, but who in turn manipulates him. 

The protagonist meets the world as an open soul without the encumbrance of religious or cultural baggage. In the process, he shows how early migrant families – who are on the verge of poverty – coped with finding themselves in this new land that is touted as one of opportunity and equality. 

I have always wondered what kind of life a child will have in a dysfunctional family. I got more than a glimpse of life of a child especially a troubled teenager.

There are flaws in all the characters in the book. This is what makes the book a real page turner. The book is an intense, emotional roller coaster ride. It is a must read book by all parents with teenagers. How to raise children with discipline may not be found in this book but it warns you about the signs why the children behave in a certain way.

Negatives ~
The book moves at a snail pace and from the initial chapter, as I was able to get a clue of what Ican expect from the novel. It is still not very clear why Deep Singh’s parents love their first son so blindly than their second son. But the good thing is - we learn what the power of favouritism can do to change the behavior of children.

My Verdict ~
I recommend this book to all parents out there. Buy this book and see if you understand your children well or not. In this book, you will learn communication and understanding is the best way to raise a good kid.

Rating: 4/5

P.S: I won a review copy from The Tales Pensieve as part of Reviewers Programme. Register on #TTP for lots of #book fun and activities.


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