Book Review - Roots by Rahul Bhatt

"What will he write.. who has nothing to tell.. or has unfulfilled desires?" - Roots
Book review

Roots, by Rahul Bhatt


Genre Literature & Fiction
Price Rs. 280 (Review copy received from publisher)
Pages 301 pages
Format Paperback
Publisher Banyan Publishing
Availability Amazon.in, Amazon.com, Flipkart
Rating  (4 Stars)

About The Author

Rahul Bhatt is an Indian Scientist, an alumnus of IIT Delhi, whose passion for writing encouraged him to write his first book Roots. He lives in Delhi, India with his wife and son, reachable on his personal email ID. He writes, “His roots are in the hills”, which I wish I knew a little more about.

Book Review

Roots is a story of a priest and astrologer, the last one of his family to have survived, with no child to carry the family lineage. Pandit ji, besides fulfilling the basic duties of a priest, earns a living from fortune telling, which he fathoms has been passed on to him from his ancestors. Mira, mother of Sarita and a widow, has seen more male dominance than any woman she has ever seen in one lifetime. Sarita, a feminist, works for a TV channel and volunteers in a Helpline initiated to curb suicidal depressions. Pandit ji has lost all-purpose in life, Mira’s only purpose is her daughter, and Sarita still muses over the missing father in her life. Discovery of a journal written over centuries, a helpline, a reality TV show, and 3 lost souls come together once again, and the story unfolds.

For me, true to its title - Roots, is a simple and pragmatic story, giving way to an interesting and meticulous plot. It is largely constructed around the character of Ganesh, the priest, who not only loses his family but also his house in the mountains, which leaves him unstable for the rest of his life. Mira and Sarita are the quintessential mother-daughter duo, struggling to express their insecurities. The story gets very exciting at two places - first when the priest starts reading his ancestor’s memoirs, and when the heartwarming truth about the past reveals itself towards the end. Based around Delhi, a lot of the major historical incidents over the centuries of North India have been incorporated, to make the story convincing and enjoyable at the same time. I did not know what to expect, but I was massively impressed with the author’s scholarly and professional writing.

At a glance the cover isn’t the most striking feature of the book, but for some reason it had an earthy vibe to it, which would later turn out to be perfectly in tuned with the theme of the book. What I didn’t like was, a few events mentioned in the story were unfinished, and left me wondering their relevance in the story. Like for instance, the story of Mira’s friend, who seeks Pandit ji’s help in foretelling her paralyzed husband’s future, had an unsatisfying conclusion. 

Final Thoughts

Unlike the presentation of the book, the writing itself is exemplary and very professional. I am impressed and thoroughly enjoyed the author’s writing style. There is genuine and true-to-life depiction of sentiments of every character; keeping the storyline simple and entertaining, with a heartwarming ending.

Hope you enjoyed this review, until next time Happy Reading!

Love & Peace
Shruti

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