PLOT: 4/5

Sometimes I just look back in my life and wonder about how soon I grew up.

It was just yesterday that I was busy with my collection of toys immersed in my fictional world of wrong and right, or the battle between good and bad, the time when everything we did seemed like a thing which we wanted to do, not the things which we had to do.

When Pokémon bags, designer pencil boxes and new shoes were supposed to be an exquisite luxury available only to a few. When Barbie dolls, zero period and video games were the only source of happiness for us.

When Archies, Chacha Chaudhary and Doga were the only books we wanted to read. But as life started getting more real, piece by piece, those pleasant childhood memories became more and more valuable to me.

Author Ravinder Singh tries to portray these best days of our lives in his highly anticipated third novel “Like It Happened Yesterday”.

I’ve always believed that an author who can make a reader feel the pain, emotions, joy, serenity and the happiness of life only through his words truly deserve to be acclaimed.

In “Like It Happened Yesterday”, I could relive those good and merry days. I felt like the characters in the book were indeed inspired by my friends, someone I’ve known for a very long time. It felt like I could connect with their lives via this book.

The blurb of the book promises to take us on a trip to our childhood. The author shares his experiences – his first school, first friends, first doctor, first medical attention, first pen, first bicycle, first full pants, first sexual exposure, first love and first heartbreak.

The story is about those days when mobile phones, the internet and the ATMs hadn’t yet invaded lives and “Doordarshan” was the only available channel on Indian television.

The book brings out the childhood memories of Ravinder Singh, who hails from a poor Punjabi family settled in Orissa.

His parents sacrifice all their comforts just to provide a good education to him and his brother Jitender, so that they need not live the same life like them, in poverty.

“Like It Happened Yesterday” is narrated in a poorly written English (not being offensive here but it’s just I like my novels to be exclusive in their content and not some mediocrely put words).

In certain instances, the book will help you reminisce your childhood, but on the downside, with each passing page, it gets a bit monotonous. For the lack of proper words, I’d just say it would have been amazing if only it was a teeny-tiny bit short.

The consecutive chapters are not fashioned in a single thread. The author could have taken care of narration which is very flat and there are a lot of breaks in the flow.

Nonetheless, I felt the book had a sweet hint of humour and a nostalgic touch of childhood. To write about the childhood phase of life is a real tough job because it’s one of the most innocent, emotional and nostalgic phases of life.

The author definitely has potential. After all, he is one of the most celebrated Romance-Fiction writers of India.

The book is nice for a quick light read, and I recommend it to all those who love to go over their childhood memories time and again.