An advisory note for the bookworms and the potential bookworms: If at all, anyone wishes to explore new books (read: experiment with new authors or genre) then I have a perfect checklist to make their choices easier. So here it goes: One. The author is a debutante. Two. The author is a Puneite. And three. The author is an engineer. If the book’s author matches the requirements then congratulations, you already have a potential bestseller in your hands. There is one enigmatic thing about the Puneite authors. They dish out page-turners. And if you thought that Finders, Keepers by Sapan and Checkmate by Hrishikesh Joshi was the last good book you read by a Puneite engineer then He Lost His Mobile And… by Amol Kulkarni proves you wrong.
Mobile or Cell phones need no introduction. Almost every person carries at least one handset if not two, along with him/her. So what really happens when one’s mobile phone goes missing? Panic, right? But what if it causes multiple lives go haywire? Weird and almost impossible, isn’t it? Well.. it isn’t impossible if you are Gautam.
Plot: Meet Gautam, our hero. He has problem with numbers.. all kinds of numbers. Meet Manasi, Gautam’s wife. She has problem with remembering things while multitasking. Meet KK, Gautam’s boss. He has a problem of missing words in a sentence while listening. Apart from these three, there are other characters like daughter Neha, colleague Sid, friend Amit, Nazneen and her family, SP Ashwin Kumar from CID and many more.
It’s a normal Friday. Gautam is supposed to take leave from his office for personal work. Manasi is supposed to make Neha ready for school. All it takes is an ordinary call on Gautam’s phone to make the schedule go haywire. Neha’s school bus driver Kabir Chacha isn’t coming to pick and drop her. As a result, Manasi has to manage her chores hastily. In the process, Manasi unknowingly misplaces Gautam’s already low battery phone. Manasi then gets an emergency call from her friend regarding some other friend being in trouble. Gautam asks Manasi to call his boss and inform him about his leave from office. As Manasi is always in a hurry, she calls up KK and talks about Gautam’s absence at work. KK as usual, misses out few words from the conversation and assumes that Gautam is missing. Gautam on the other hand, recollects the reason behind taking leave from office. He has to become a witness for Amit and Nazneen’s court marriage which he misses.
Failing to get married, Amit and Nazneen are on the run from her family members. Gautam gets entangled in this chaos. To add to the misery, his daughter goes missing. He has to use his wits to find the numbers of his friends who may be able to help him. He puts all his skills into use to get in touch with the respective people to simplify the chaos. Does he succeed in rescuing his daughter? Does he help Amit and Nazneen get married? Who is the kidnapper? What happens to his mobile? Does he find it? The answers lie hidden in the lines of the book.
My Take: Writing more about the plot would mean disclosing spoilers and spoiling the fun of reading. The book starts at an ordinary level and builds up extraordinarily as the chapters progress. The strength of the plot lies in the comical nature of the characters invoking laughter and feeling sorry for them at the same time. Whether a resident of Pune or not, Amol describes the Pune landscape brilliantly. Every structure, road and premises mentioned turn virtually visible. He doesn’t just makes the readers read through, he makes them travel along with his beautifully sketched characters. Amol deserves a pat on his back for the extensive research on the way informers as well as the working of police force. Needless to mention, this book has its highs and lows like a few unanswered questions i.e. what happened to Kabir Chacha, which friend of Manasi was in trouble, but never does it stray away from the plot. A couple of tweaks can make it a potential mini TV series script or a movie. The author may consider himself as a rookie but delivers this book as a seasoned pro. All in all, this book is funny, laced with mystery and worth every penny spent on it.
Peace, Poetry and Power.