Book Reviews by a Pioneer: The (In)significant Soul by Abhishek Chaturvedi

Kabir is born in a lower middle-class family in small-time India. He, like so many others in the same social strata, are expected to lead an insignificant life. But he refuses to bow down to destiny.

His chance meeting with a distant relative from the army makes him see the dreams of joining the Indian army through NDA. Failure to do so in the first attempt makes him even more determined to clear the entrance examination.

As he moves along in life, Kabir meets several people, and gathers many bitter-sweet experiences. He realises that he is not insignificant since he refuses to accept a common life as his destiny. This is the message that he sends out to all – do not accept an insignificant life.

The author is a serving army man. There are many anecdotes from the army life beginning from the NDA selection process, till actual life in the army, well woven in this fictional narrative. This would certainly appeal to the younger generation on the threshold of embarking on their professional journey.

There is only one aspect in the book that did not work for me. Each chapter starts with a motivational quote and ends with a few lines, and sometimes with a single or multiple paragraphs, of moral preaching, about how one should handle situations in life. This was too much in the face as I progressed from chapter to chapter. The book lost its charm of a good fictional read.

The book should appeal to the younger generation.

The review is by Sanjay Chandra, author of The Gymnast.

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