The latest entrant in the campus novel category is Kev Nayak’s ‘Oh Snap, I’m in JNU!’. I thought the book is another crap but it turned out to be more than a pleasant and surprising read. The starting is so engrossing that I continued reading for a non-stop seven hours and devoured the small book running some 185 pages.
The book tells stories of three young men coming to JNU with big dreams in their eyes. But they soon realised that JNU is a university that does not sell dreams. Instead it messes up everything. Those who succeed to come out of the mess become successful in achieving their dreams. The trouble for the trio starts from the very first day in the university and it becomes messy day by day.They release a sadder truth, JNU pushes students in only one direction and those who want to go in other directions have to fight the monster called JNU. And that is not easy.
‘Oh Snap, I’m JNU!’ is a complete package for all kind of readers. Do you read books with hope that the contents will stir your intellect? If yes, this is the book to look for. The atheistic style of writing and the subtle contents will help to release endorphin from you brain. You will find your traditional beliefs being questioned.
Are you the type of readers who read books for entertainment? If yes, this is the book for you. It contains all the masalas like love, action and adventure that Indian readers love. The book has these elements from the very first page to the end.
Are you the types of readers who would love soft porn? If yes, go and grab the book. This is a novel for youth and you can experience a lot of sexual fantasy as you read.
Finally, do you want to know more about ‘anti-national’ JNU? If yes, this is the book that will tell you what it like to be in JNU. It will run a scan on antonym of the campus life. You will find yourself sitting in the classes and enjoying lecture. You will be put among the crowds in protest marches and Dharanas that have become part and parcel of students’ life in the campus. You will hear the lectures of those ‘anti-national’ and ‘urban-naxal’ teachers.
Overall the book is a total package. I like the comical overtones of the author throughout the book. There is not a single boring chapter, a fun-filled ride throughout. I have read other JNU related campus novels: Up Campus Down Campus by Avijit Ghosh, Something of a Mocktale by Soma Das and more recently ‘Where is My Story – The JNU Way’ by Tulika Dubey but ‘Oh Snap, I’m in JNU’ is the best by miles.
Having sang song of praises about the book now let me recite some dirges. The book is divided into many chapters but are very loosely integrated. It lacks coherency and you would feel like reading short stories. In his attempt to provide an wholesome entertainment the author has mixed up many things. To cater to all type of readers in one single book is not an easy job. This is the playground for pros. Not for rookies.
Nevertheless the shortcomings of the book are minors. It is a total package and you will not be disappointed by any means.