More often than not, when you pick up a book by a particular author in quick succession to last one by him/her, which you raved about, you’re ever so slightly let down. Atleast that’s what has happened with me in the past. And that’s what I was afraid of, when I picked up Panther, by Chimmi Tenduf-La, within a month of having read and reviewed his last book here.
Panther, tells the story of Prabhu, a teenager who is brought into the glamourous world of elite schooling, clubs and partying, and most importantly, into the world of cricket, owing to his tremendous talent in the game. Along with Indika, rich, suave, and also a good player himself, Prabhu lives a life of a regular teenager, something he has always looked forward to. Because Prabhu has a murky past, and has seen more pain in his childhood, than most see in their lives.
The book seamlessly shuffles between the past and the present, written in different styles, demarcating them clearly. The past is dark, and the author hasn’t hesitated in bringing forth the rawness, the gore, and at times it hurts to read, and think and imagine what the child is going through. But amidst all the happenings, the focus remains on Prabhu, his emotional turmoil, his determination, his positive outlook and belief that eventually things would get better.
The present is more relatable. You root for him, as he weaves his way through the ups and downs of regular teenage life. For me, his friendship with Indika was a highlight of the book and I loved the relationship they share. There are other important characters that impact Prabhu’s life, both in the past and the present, and they range from amazing, awesome, to downright disgusting and horrible but then we cannot complain because every story needs its fair share of antagonists as well and what matters is they get what they deserve. They do, to some extent, thankfully.
The book is a smooth read, and for me it’s a positive one. Considering we have two stories running in parallel, the screen time each gets sometimes seems a bit less, you tend to want a bit more on what happened, how it did, and what was happening. But I am assuming getting all that detail in one book, and yet keeping crisp might not be the easiest of tasks. That being said, Prabhu will be a character I will remember for a long time
Thank you Chimmi, it was a pleasure reading this book, and hope you write a lot more. Perhaps even a sequel to Panther?