Behram’s Boat: A Man’s Pursuit to Save His Fast Diminishing Parsi Culture by Adi Pocha

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A book review of Behram’s Boat by Adi Pocha

Do you believe in playing roulette? What if someday one decides to play roulette with your life’s outcome? What and how would you feel? Well, don’t worry because Behram’s Boat, a book by Adi Pocha mulls what happens when a man decides to take charge of changing something for a greater cause.

Sometimes you laugh, sometimes you cry, yes you live, eventually you die and yet… there is something that stays forever, it is the memories we make on the sands of time, those little squeals of laughter, those peals of joy, those tears of sadness…they all stay on for eternity.

 Indeed, this is the synopsis of life, it is a complete way in which how our life transpires and goes on.

You know back then when Mumbai was Bombay and the world was a much different place (well, different for me at least). I revelled in the joys of the place at that time, living in the moment, basking in the joys of the sunshine that adorned the cities scapes, indulging in the colours of nature, drinking in the surroundings with such fervour that I could not help but be full of wonder about what really gave Bombay that velvety feel to it. Yes, there was a strange smooth feeling of sorts I always used to experience, the one a person associates with a place, its aromas, its cultures, the complete aura and ambience of it.

I especially remember enjoying watching movies depicting the warm Parsi culture and fuzziness like ‘Khatta Meetha’, ‘Pestonji’ and others. I was always a fan of the characters shown, and the vibe they seemed to ooze.

These were exactly my first thoughts when I finished the book “Behram’s Boat” by Adi Pocha who incidentally is also a writer as well as a filmmaker from show biz. A brilliantly written, quirky, funny yet profound account of a supposedly eccentric individual, this one encapsulated not only the Parsi essence but also a deep-rooted philosophy of a community which is fast disappearing.

Furthermore, while snippets about Parsi culture are sprinkled throughout the book, it does not become overwhelming or overpower the main plot. Instead, it enhances the flavour of the narrative and, in a subtle way, provides readers with a better understanding of Parsi culture. I was able to see through a lot of information that was being met out in the process about how Parsis came to be here, how they established themselves here, and how and why their community is so close-knit today

Encapsulating the story of a Parsi guy Behram this one is a funny take on the old chap’s struggle to build a boat that will presumably save people. A boat that will be filled not with refugees, but with young Parsi couples who he hopes will fall in love during the journey, and the voyage and will also supposedly contribute to the growth of their tribe. Heroic, silly, hopelessly insane will Behram Rustomjee’s pursuit of making his life more meaningful meet success? Or will it just stay and remain in the that-an empty shell which never ever took off to meet its expectation? Well, for that you guys will have to read the book.

I must begin with how stoked was I reading the complete splay of colours and the array of emotions Adi has put across through this one. Agree it’s a funny take and yet one cannot help but notice how he has, taking the strings of quirky, funny instances, put across something so subtly, of profound importance making us privy to how when man searches for meaning and closure in life, the situation surely turns into a wholesome pursuit. A purpose is the single most essential thing in any person’s life. And that exactly is the message of the narrative. Come what it may be, each one of us surely needs to take charge of our own pursuits in life, take control of our individual journeys, coming to conclusion by following our true inner calling. 

It felt as if I was transported back to a backdated era when I read this one. A much more comfortable time period where technology was not the nuisance it has turned into today, where life was simpler and more sorted. Yes, Adi’s latest took me back to my Bombay which I love, adore and celebrate for all the right spirits and reasons. Not only was Rustomjee’s quest full of quirks and fun, but it was also a rigmarole of chaos, disorderliness, slang, and cuss, as well as a mélange of such extraordinary assimilation that one cannot help but be drawn away into a tornado of emotions which will leave you thunderstruck towards the end, making you realize more deeply than ever about the true meaning hidden between the pages of this fun ride.

Although there are characters who will give you the ok-been -there-done-that -feel, there is a certain poignance in the way Adi has brought out the ramifications of how when a community at large, is the threat of becoming insignificant, there is always someone who will take charge and defer this. Rustomjee happens to be that deference, that respite which comes across as not only a comic but also therapeutic relief, purging one of all that could be labelled as worrisome.

Related: Unabashedly Rakesh Jhunjhunwala: An Ode To The Big Bull of The Indian Stock Market

Super fun read and yet encompasses a deep-rooted complexity to it, mark this one for a good weekend with just you and yourself, whiling away the time to connect back to the roots called “You”. Go, prepare to indulge in the celebration called life and listen to your inner calling and purpose.

Behram’s Boat

Neelam Sharma www.booxoul.com
Author: Adi Pocha

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Summary

“Behram’s Boat” is a funny, whimsical story of one eccentric, cranky old Parsi’s struggle to build a boat that will save his people.

And bring meaning to his life.

5

So, hope you guys liked my little thoughts on this brilliant piece of life called Behram’s Boat, a superb fun fiction by Adi Pocha.

Do let us know in the comments below what you think of this.

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