The Quest for Nothing by Anurag Anand is a DINK (Double Income No Kids) story very realistically told, reflective of the lives of most working youngsters today who have the world at their feet and don’t exactly know what to do with it!
With the novel commencing with a poem acknowledging friends and family alike I wondered as I read along as to whether the forthcoming pages would be as enticing as this. Fortunately, I was not disappointed.
Each chapter begins as a periodic phase and you get a vague idea as to what the story is all about like in the first chapter which is a good introduction into the life of the main protagonist, Akash, his daily working schedule, marriage, etc. Sprinkled in between is the more serious issue of migrants in the city of Mumbai and how it affects the life of the outsiders.
What I like best in the novel is the error free and beautiful use of words which are elating in language and description. Every time the hero of the novel is feeling low you get to feel the sinking feeling too and are able to identify with his situation. The same goes for his joy, like when he says:
“The circuitous delight derived from bringing joy to our loved ones, far supersedes any that can be derived through self-indulgence.”
The story surges in and out of a conflicting, energy packed present to an equally jam packed past sometimes misleading the reader into thinking that All Iz Well before falling into a whirlpool of hurt and disappointing expectations. The DINK story is not just about Akash but about two individuals, Akash and his wife Deepali who are totally in sync with their work and with each other until time and situation make them pause and contemplate. Their lives are described awfully well by the author Anurag Anand so much so that we, the readers can identify with it completely at certain times. Stacked in between such reflective moments are lines like these which I found really soothing and funny:
“It is funny how short dresses, a well sculptured body and a little bit of make-up can do to reduce a significant number of years from a girl’s age. Wonder if I would have looked any younger had I worn a vest and a lungi, strategically folded a few inches above my knee!”
The above line Akash thinks after he observes his newly married wife getting ready for an outing quite contrasting to the plain outfits she used to wear before her wedding bound then by the restrictions of a conservative and ‘ proper’ upbringing.
The conclusion of the novel clears away any cobwebs of doubt you may have encountered mid way during the story. The Quest For Nothing conveys a perfect message through the saga of success, love and the race for more and more in life when we realize that life is indeed the present which needs to be enjoyed but not carelessly cast away in the ‘mad dash’ for success, money or frivolous fun!
An enjoyable read!