Book Review: 35 and sexless in Ahmedabad by Robin David

  • ISIN: 978-9350298459
  • Genre: Contemporary Fiction
  • Publishers: Harper Collins
  • Price: Rs. 325/- ( I got the book from The Reader's Cosmos for a review)
Anant, a thirty-five-year-old small-time photographer in Ahmedabad, has a recurring nightmare. In it, a three-legged bitch is chained to his ankle, slowing his step and dragging angrily behind him. Try as he might, he is neither able to free himself of the mongrel in the dream nor the dream itself. What does the dog signify? Raashee, his one-time lover who now exists only in online chat windows? Or Diane Arbus, the legendary 1960s' photographer whose groundbreaking ideas have no takers in Ahmedabad? Or his father, with whom he has a strained relationship? When psychologists and Google fail him, Anant embarks on a Kafkaesque journey through the city to find the answers that elude him.

35 and Sexless in Ahmedabad is a darkly comic story about a lonely man's quest for real connections in times of virtual connectivity - a misfit artist's alienation in a conservative city, here Ahmedabad but could be any other. But the most hopeless of situations often have simple solutions. As Anant discovers, his three-legged dog is actually a profound problem with a surprisingly primal answer.

Behind The book


About the author

Robin David is The Times of India's resident editor in Chandigarh. He previously worked with the newspaper in Ahmedabad, the city that forms the backdrop of this novel. He belongs to its small Bene Israel Jewish community. His first book, City of Fear, an account of how the 2002 Gujarat riots affected him and his mother, noted writer Esther David, was shortlisted for the Vodafone Crossword Book Award 2007 in the English non-fiction category.

Me thinks

Being someone who is in her early thirties now, there was a lot of curiosity when I got this book for review. I wanted to know what a 35 year old thinks like on such things and I wasn't disappointed at all.Sex is a tabboo topic in our country though we are the very place were Kamasutra was born. I like the frankness with which it has been spoken about in this book.

I have read Esther David but never got to read Robin till now. When I read him I was not surprised, I should have excepted it coming from him. His language in the first few paragraphs itself got me held onto it. Okay I agree this is not your usual light , peppy read that you can finish in one go in a matter of few hours.

This is a deep introspective read, one that will make you think and perhaps re-think. With constant nightmares haunting him when Anant decides to find it's real reason is when the book takes a deeper meaning. Till then I was laughing and giggling on some of the incidents the author has described. Moreover having a city I have lived in as the backdrop I could connect with it to a larger extent. The familiar places, roads and corners of the city made me nostalgic.

At some places when he was just writing about some random people I could actually visualise them having bumped into them sometime myself. For me this book was much more than just book and it was a wonderful experience reading it.

Warning: Please don't pick it up if you are looking for light and humorous read. On the lines of dark humour this book is a contemplative read.

Foodie Verdict

This book is like Ravo - a Parsi style kheer because of its uniqueness in everything from recipe to the taste!