WRITING STYLE: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3/5
In Star Wars, Yoda had said, “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not.” When I received Tushar Raheja’s “Romi & Gang” from Pirates, this quote was the first thing that came to my mind. This cute book is tiny, like a pocket book, about the 2/3rd the size of a regular paperback. I decided not to judge the book by its size. This book’s central theme is cricket. Having read and reviewed Anuja Chauhan’s “The Zoya Factor”, based on a similar theme, and having thoroughly enjoyed it, I found Romi & Gang quite appealing and decided to give it a try.
The plot of the book revolves around Romi and his gang of friends – Sunny, Golu and Sukhi – who are bound together by their love for cricket. They are 8th graders in Vivekananda High School and spend their evenings discussing and playing cricket in the maidan. The plot progresses for a year with few events sprinkled in – the fun in school, Romi stealing season balls from sports room, Sunny’s family troubles, their search for Kim, etc. – and they promote to the 9th grade. Once in 9th, they participate in the inter-house cricket tournament in their school and prove their talent. Unfortunately, they are not given a place in the inter-school team because they are juniors. To find a place on the team, Romi & Gang must defeat the senior school team. The rest of the story is about these kids’ passion for cricket and the extent to which they can stretch themselves to prove their worth.
Tushar has done a good job with this book. Though the plot lacks appeal and substance, his writing style is certainly better than that in “Anything for you Ma’am”. The geography of Mauji, the school life, the game of cricket, the friendship, etc. have been well narrated. The illustrations by Biswajit Das are cool and definitely an advantage to the reader. The passion the youngsters have for the game is brought to life and will definitely strike a chord with the readers.
The characters have been well portrayed and they are the reason why this dull story becomes lively. Romi, Sukhi, Sunny and Golu do definite justice to the title of the book. I particularly loved the character of Victor Sir; he is every student’s dream teacher. Romi’s granny reminded me of my own grandmother. Romi’s father’s is another character which I loved in the book.
What the book lacks in terms of substance in the plot, it makes up with its beautiful portrayal of passion the kids have for cricket. This is a small book and can be finished in a single 3-4 hour session. So grab a copy today and become friends with Romi and his gang.