WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything,” says the famous and one of most versatile Canadian American actor, producer and activist, Michael J. Fox. His is not the only opinion of such form, for we all know what family is and what it means for most of us – the tree that gives us shade, the candle that imparts light, the food that provides nourishment, and the driving force which makes life worthwhile. The true rendition of this one sturdiest pillar of our lives is strikingly presented in Amar Agarwala’s heart rendering book – Missing Varrun.
Vedant is an exceptionally brilliant Marwari boy living in Kolkata. Having lost his father and his legal inheritance at a young age, he strives hard to make his mark in the society by working extra hard at his academics and then towards his career. He becomes successful eventually, and decides to marry the one true love of his life – the 14 year younger Amaya. Amaya is an Indian by birth and Spanish by choice. Being born and brought up in Spain, she is a Spaniard at heart. She is sent to India for her higher studies and it is here, in Kolkata, that she falls in love with Vedant. Time goes by and soon their clandestine affair is discovered by their family, and Amaya is duly called back to her hometown of Ceuta in Spain. Against the wishes of their family, Amaya and Vedant decide to marry and settle in Kolkata.
Alas! The happy ending was not meant to be and soon the promise of a blissful matrimony was marred by the incessant squabbles of the mother and daughter-in-law duo. Then came a turning point, where Amaya had to go to Spain for a year long teaching program. Amaya was happy to be back in Spain but unfortunately for Vedant, this year long period of separation was destined to be forever, as days kept turning into months, and months into years. Amaya never came back. She, along with her two lovely kids, Varun and Vedika, stayed away from Vedant forever, and it is this pain of living away from your family that the author, so beautifully writes about.
Well, Missing Varrun surely manages to strike an emotional chord with the readers and manages to make the readers sympathize with the agony of Vedant. The book brings out the intricacies of life after retirement with the precision of a surgeon. The characters in Missing Varrun are all good and there is a unique depth in all of them. The everyday life of a person torn between India and abroad is also shown in a beautiful way. Realistic is the way in which the author shows the emptiness of celebrating Diwali without one’s family or for that matter celebrating any Indian festival in a foreign land. The end was the most compelling and heart rendering part, the reader cannot help but feel sad about a life spent without family – a life lost.