Sunday, September 26, 2010

The road not taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay,
In leaves no step had trodden black,
Oh, I marked the first for another day,
Yet knowing how way leads to another way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh,
Somewhere ages and ages hence,
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
Took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

This beautiful poem by Robert Frost has stood the test of time and would continue to touch a cord within the reader's heart every time it is read.  What if I had taken that path, instead of this, which would have in turn lead to a different path and eventually the universe where I am sitting and contemplating this thought would have crumbled and a new world would have come to fore....would that one be better than the one I am currently inhabiting?

Well that is the question posed by Karan Bajaj through his hero Nikhil Arya in his second novel "Johnny Gone Down."  Nikhil has walked the less traveled road and what a road it had turned out to be! From Cambodia to Thailand, from Thailand to Brazil, from Brazil to US, and from US to India, spanning different lives and careers.  A tourist who eventually becomes a genocide survivor, a monk, an accountant (exclusively for the mob), and a software guy.

A racy novel with an underlying dark as well as witty undertone, "Johnny Gone Down" is a thorough entertainer, and reading this novel is like watching a good masala movie.  Karan himself admits of being inspired from Forrest Gump and also some other movies and books.

If you are in a mood to read something light, casual, and interesting at the same time, Johnny Gone Down is the book for you.

Also as an afterthought, I would like to add, whichever road we take, the journey is what matters and the friends we make on our way is what matters, and Nikhil aka Johnny would concur with that....;-)

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