PLOT: 3/5

“Have faith in the ones
Who undeniably love you
Stand on your feet
And make their dreams come true
You just need to realise
They are always along
To make you strong
To make you live long….”

College is a much-anticipated change in any individual’s life. Those who stand on the threshold of college know the thumping in their heart as they take such a big leap into a whole new world.

On the one hand, it is said to be full of fun and frolic into new states of being. On the other, it is far away from the joys of freedom and comprises of many serious events too. Most importantly, it is an initiation into adulthood.

What happens when you bump into a Gaurav Gupta book at such a point in life? Well, its no less than a saviour.

Away from family and friends, speculations, aspirations and fears Gupta enters as a mediator to introduce the many facets of college life to generations of young who are brimming with talent and impatience. What they lack is experience to understand what to do and whom to follow.

College Diaries may well be read like a self-help guidebook though it is written to be a novel.

Centred around Amay, who resembles in profession and position a lot of the qualities that Gupta himself possesses, the book is far from any inkling of an autobiography though clearly has taken some inspiration from his own experiences at IIT.

College Diaries is divided into 32 chapters and is 318 pages long. The prologue focuses on Amay who has just completed his Class X board exams and is visiting the dorms of his older brother at IIT Roorkee.

Amay is an IIT JEE aspirant. He too dreams of making it through these corridors some day. But Amay is in for a shock.

His hopes of getting some idea about hostel life to feel the motivation to study are dashed as soon as he meets his rowdy friends who have much to whine and complain such a renowned educational institute. From here the story jumps to two years in the future where Amay is a student at IIT and he pens down his own experiences from the first day of college life.

The language is simple, free-flowing and easy to read though there is a profuse of Hindi words that most readers are bound to be familiar with such as and  (knife).

The subtitle of the book suggests “story behind the walls” and it is this that College Diaries is precisely about.

It is highly insightful into student life and activities that will be relatable to all graduates regardless of which institute they studied from.

Gupta does spill quite some beans and it is in this that the real fun of the story lies. It is a golden chance to see up close and personal into the lives of students in one of the most prestigious institutes of the country.

However, one must keep in mind that it is purely fiction and does not resemble any things living or dead in any way.

Mind you, life is not all that rosy for these young lads. On the contrary, it is pathetically difficult. These challenges make College Diaries interesting to read for all ages.

Gupta is vividly detailed and descriptive. He jots down every nod, wink and smirk that the characters pass which adds to the background of the story and helps build the narrative. The narrative is otherwise linear and moves at a steady pace.

Everything is noted down from the fuss as well as tantrums that some people throw at meal time. But nothing is tedious or repetitive.

Humour is abundant and the dialogues are well constructed. It is not that they’ve struggled in vain. Through these struggles they mature as individuals but does it bring them any closer? Politics abounds as rivalries and jealousies crop up.

The plot is highly emotional with multiple climaxes that constantly build up the tension.

Sadly, for the most part, the book is nothing out of the ordinary and even slightly predictable.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of College Diaries using the link below.