Aditya Pawar, the author is from the prestigious Scindia school Gwalior in the league of greats like the Mayo College Ajmer, Lawrence school Sanawar, and Doon School and this is reflected in his book ‘From the Fort Walls-how it Began’. You can feel the characters and see them right in front of you, as you read through the fiction he has written. Fiction is supposed to be fictitious but this looks pretty real. You can feel that the author has lived with the characters – Ashwin, Govind Kartik, and others.
A schoolboy crush
This is a boy next door kind of story- fast-paced- which we all have lived during our school days. The setting is for real and you are taken back to the song ‘Schoolboy Crush’ created by Average White Band in 1975. The setting is of 1980 though. Aditya beautifully crafts a harmonica of hormones that all boys and girls at that age experience. Crush, infatuation, and love, back to crush- you don’t know what hit you. Innocence holds you back as hormones play havoc as a teenager.
A band of three friends, now more like sworn brothers spend time at the ‘adda’ which is a fort wall in Gwalior. We all found our nooks and corners for little pranks during our school day and the entire experience is very relatable. All three are from lower middle-class backgrounds but get admission under management quota in the prestigious school called RIPS -Royal India Public School a school where only the very rich could afford to send their kids to study. Their parents mostly employed in the non-academic staff with limited salaries had this privilege. These three have the freedom to move around in the town as day scholars while others- rich and mighty were not allowed to go out of campus being hostelers as a norm.
Many if not most during their school days did have a crush on a lady teacher and one of these three went through such an experience too.
Sometimes boys and girls go astray in these silly entanglements and their academic performance takes a southernly turn and in this case too it happened to a couple of them. Yet they made a serious course correction to finally do well in board exams.
A message for the youth
How teenagers bounce back when it comes to competitive exams is a big message the author gives to the youth of our nation who feel that life is a cakewalk. How middle-class parents save every penny to foot the bill of education of their children is very vividly depicted. Youth must understand this and should not let their parents down. In this case the trio demonstrates some sense of responsibility.
Jilted over crush has become pretty common today as everything is so much in your face. ‘Breakups have become earth-shattering as if. Small town growing up does have its positives- a lesson you learn is to move on. There can be nothing more important than focussing on your career. This is everyone’s story very well put together with its characters whose life moves in tandem yet take very different directions.
A sequel in the making. Very cleverly the author lays out a plot for his next book…when it matters most. The connection is brilliant- like Jurassic Park where Spielberg plants something in your mind by showing a helicopter leaving the Isla Nublar and some birds flying out too thus setting up the sequels which were equally well received.
Highly recommended-a great racy read- go pick up a copy from Amazon
To buy the book click - FROM THE FORT WALLS - HOW IT BEGAN