It’s virtual! YET it’s real!! The one of it’s kind Enlightened Sapiens Virtual BookClub We get together digitally, the last week of the month to discuss the book we have read that month and then the ones to be read for the next month are revealed (there are usually two choices). Hi! I’m Saloni, an active member and reviewer of books we read here. I would love to keep you guys acquainted with the rip roaring sessions we have..so fasten your seatbelts… The theme of the month’s books is chosen according to the events/festivals coming up. We have poll as to which of the two is most preferred with our members and then read it! There are quite a few of us however, who read both also!!
This not all that we do…during our meetings we obviously discuss the book, apart from that we do a lot of other fun stuff like breaking up into smaller groups for interaction\socialization\discussions, doing interesting activities\polls related to the current book, we even confabulate about the writing prompts suggested by our host. The icing on the cake is, nevertheless, the interaction with authors\writers\poets themselves. Such sessions are fabulous and exciting! It is such an eye opener getting insights from them about writing, characterization, etc. Not only do these sessions lead to osmosis but they’re also inspirational as we learn about the struggles and difficult phases these people went through to reach where they are today.
The book we read last month (July) was “Behram’s Boat” by Adi Pocha, who wears many hats. He is a writer, filmmaker, advertising guy, producer… the list is endless!
Behram’s Boat is the story of a 65-year-old Parsi guy, who, after years of being an alcoholic, discovers a new purpose in life and becomes hell-bent on achieving his goal.
Behram initially comes across as a not-so-pleasant person; rude, obnoxious, selfish and gluttonous! However, as the story progresses, I, as a reader started seeing other shades of him too. While his character shift is commendable, from a no-good drunkard to a focused go-getter, what is most appealing about him is colourful language and his love for food! By the second half of the novel, one actually starts to admire his grit and single mindedness. His character his very well etched as the protagonist and the same holds true for the ensemble figures.
Although Behram is the titular character and the others do not share his spotlight, it will be only fair to say that Indian readers can certainly relate to the everyday struggles and stigmas they go through. Even the fleeting mention of Persis, the daughter who has to put the interests of her own family before the needs of her aging father, the junior reporter Piloo who is mocked and insulted by everyone and the patriarchal nuances of society where males are always given advantage over the females in the household impact our minds profoundly as readers.
Behram steals our hearts as the guy who wants to do something for his dwindling community and what sets him apart is the fact that he wants to do so from the bottom of his heart without any accolades or frills for the same. The ending of the novel steals the show because it is absolutely unanticipated and leaves the readers with a multitude of feelings!
3. MONTHLY MEETING
As we discussed the novel on 27th July at our monthly meeting, it was proved that it was amply enjoyed by all the members. One of them made a valid justification for the same saying that it is a pleasure to read Indian authors because of the relativity they bring in their content in terms of places, food, traditions, etc. and Behram’s Boat is full of such instances.
For me personally, the high point of the session was interaction with the man himself, Adi Pocha. He is absolutely amazing! He answered all our questions very patiently and discussed his take on the narrative and setting of the story at great lengths.
Although these sessions are usually scheduled for about a couple of hours, this time it seemed as if it got over in 20 minutes. We had so much to discuss as we broke up into smaller groups of 3-4 people; the story itself, Behram’s eccentricities, the writing prompt for this month, not to forget, the fun activity Karan had lined up for us!
All in all, it was a pleasure to read the book, even though I was a little sheepish about it for starters but more than that, it was a privilege to interact with Adi Pocha, the author.
4.MEET OUR HOST
Karan Mulchandani wears many hats. He is an IT Engineer whose soul is in the mountains. He founded Enlightened Sapiens with the vision of a mindful and collaborative society which is based on exchange of knowledge through personal experiences.
Karan’s interests vary from meditation to hiking, from photography to reading, writing, music, arts…the list is endless! He takes the functioning and curation of his Book Club very seriously. He is absolutely committed to his responsibility as its founder. The monthly meeting are meticulously planned and organized by him keeping in mind the sensibilities of the members and his zeal to make each meeting informative yet enjoyable is the icing on the cake!
From your review, it looks like an interesting read. The last I read anything on Parsi community in fiction came from Bapsi Sidhwa and that was ages ago. I have read many Indian authors and I did my research on two of them as well.
I’ll keep frequenting this place to check your recommendations and reviews. And your virtual bookclub is so full of energy, I’m going to look for its Twitter handler now as it’s the only social media platform where I exist.
Have a good day Saloni!
Glad to be of help!
Many thanks dear Saloni, for introducing me to your blog and through it to the world of books. Because I have a number of Parsi friends I was particularly interested in Behram’s Boat. It come across to me as an inspiring and exciting read. I shall attend presently to the hunger to read it.
Congrats on the Club and way it generates interest in books. I wish all of you the very best.