THE CLOUDBURST BY RAJESH NAIKSATAM

TITLE: THE CLOUDBURST
AUTHOR: RAJESH NAIKSATAM
PUBLISHER: STORY VISION MAGIC
PAGES: 178
GENRE: FICTION

BOOK BLURB:

After fifteen-year-old Ganpu Aapla and his parents lose everything they own, including their beautiful ancestral home in Katalveldurwadi Dabhol, India, to a forced takeover by America’s Enrone Corporation, they move to Mumbai in search of justice. Ganpu’s family takes up residence in a temporary shack that doubles as a chai shop near the Bandra Kurla Complex in a Mumbai suburb.

One day during monsoon season, when Ganpu’s parents are out working, a harmless drizzle suddenly turns into a torrential downpour, which quickly floods the streets.

Julie, Rick, James, and Saira, four international students whose parents all live in India, are supposed to be taking a boat trip to the Elephant Caves, but the unexpected cloudburst dampens their plans. After the tour group heads back to land, their guide leaves them with a stranger—a local teacher named Anu—at a bus stop while he looks for help.

Local teens Siva, Javed, and Xinmin, enthralled by the Mumbai rains, decide to venture out into the city instead of going straight home after school and find themselves also stranded at the bus stop.

This ragtag group of mixed classes, races, and genders is forced to seek shelter with one another in Ganpu’s family’s shop. While they wait, the intensity of the rain increases, threatening their survival. With no way of contacting their frantic parents, the group reluctantly waits together to be rescued.

When it appears an outside rescue might be impossible, Ganpu wholly commits to saving the lives of his guests despite their distrust of him, a lowly roadside hawker. In order for his plan to work, though, he must destroy his family’s only home and livelihood, while each one of the stranded must overcome personal demons and prejudices.

Terrified and left with no other way out, Anu must conquer her own fears and motivate the kids to work together, or else the whole crew will face certain death.




BOOK REVIEW:
When you start reading a good book, you have no option other than to finish reading it in one sitting. The Cloudburst by Author Rajesh Naiksatam was one such book for me. This story is about a fifteen-year old Ganpu Aapla. The book opens up with a hearttouching conversation between Ganpu's Parents Rama and Savitri who are discussing about their guilt of not able to bring Ganpu his favourite wooden airplane toy. Through their conversation, readers get to know how this poor family lost their good old life and their beautiful home in Katalveldurwadi, Dabhol, India because of the forced takeover by America's Enrone Corporation. They moved to Mumbai in search of justice. They takes up residence in a temporary shack that doubles as a chai shop near the Bandra Kurla Complex in a Mumbai suburb.



As the story progresses, many characters from different social backgrounds are introduced. Julie, Rick, James, and Saira, four international students whose parents all live in India, are supposed to be taking a boat trip to the Elephant Caves, but the unexpected cloudburst disturbed their plans. They had to come back from the tour and their guide leaves them with a stranger- a local teacher Anu at a bus stop while he looks for help. Local teens Siva, Javed, and Xinmim, enthralled by the Mumbai rains, decide to venture out into the city and they find themselves also stranded at the bus stop.



This group of mixed classes, races and genders is forced to seek shelter in Ganpu's family shop. Ganpu makes best effort to keep his these little guests comfortable as he had an offbeat sense of values. But all these students who should feel grateful to Ganpu disrespects him, considering him as lowly roadside hawker. While they wait, the intensity of the rain increases, threatening their survival. There was no way to contact their parents and it appeared that an outside rescue might be impossible. Ganpu wholly commits to saving the lives of his guests and as the story progresses you will find yourself engrossed and something changes in you with turning turning of every page. Ganpus big acts of kindness will give every reader valuable lessons of life, to respect everyone because no one is small and no one is big. After the story ends, you'll find yourself ready to see the people in a new way with more compassionate eyes ( and not through the eyes of gender, class and caste discrimination).



WHAT I LOVED READING THE MOST:

I liked how Anu remains calm and composed in that life threatening situation keeps every kid occupied with stories to keep them away from fearful thoughts. She proved to be a motivating teacher who tried her best to save the lives of these students.
Ganpu's good behaviour towards other kids (no matter how badly they spoke to him and refused to include him) has powerfully influenced me for the rest of my life. There are many underlying messages in this story and one of them is that we should not treat people for how bad they are but for how good we are. 




The writing style of the Author left me impressed. The cover of the book is eye catchy and goes well with the story. I found the title apt.



RATING: I will rate this book perfect 5/5 Stars and would like to highly recommend it to everyone. ( Also, I feel this story should be included in school story books, so that young students can learn the valuable life lessons and to be more human, through this book). 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rajesh Naiksatam was born and raised in Mumbai, India. He started writing his debut book The Cloudburst in 2007. When he showed his writing work to people in Mumbai, there was an interest in making it into a movie. Rajesh's late father, Shrikant Naiksatam, was one of the finest animators and visual effects artists India has ever produced. Shrikant wanted Rajesh to become a computer engineer, but Rajesh was more interested in following in his father's footsteps and joining the creative field. Eventually, Rajesh convinced Shrikant to let him work with him. While training with his father in animation and visual effects, Rajesh had the privilege of working with Prahlad Kakkar, India's advertisement guru. Prahlad gave Rajesh an opportunity to direct his first stop-motion animation film for a commercial, which won an Advertising Club Award Rajesh has worked with several film studios, including Boss Films, Digital Domain, Warner Bros., Walt Disney Animation, DreamWorks, and Sony Pictures Imageworks.



You can follow him on Instagram, twitter and facebook.

Comments

Beautiful way you reviewed the book. Loved the plot and your description
This sounds incredible! I absolutely agree that once you start a good book...you just have to read it all in one sitting. I love when that happens!
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