- Author: Pankaj Saini
- Fiction: Fantasy
- Paperback: 300 pages
- Publisher: Notion Press; 1 edition (30 October 2019)
- Language: English
Wilful. Heartbroken. Bullheaded. Humbled. Confused.
Sartaj, an amateur boxer and a regular engineer from Haryana, is a conflicted man trying to navigate a gentler and more modern version of himself down south in India’s Silicon Valley. His 20s are riddled with sex, money, liquor and even love.
From terrifying nightmares to weird voices in his head, his bizarre experiences make him question his religious and empirical beliefs. At 30, in his search for something meaningful, he surprises himself when he jumps at a strange opportunity to become a vigilante and proudly brands himself a superhero: Badoga.
But does he even have a cause? Or is his vanity getting the better of him? Is he the good guy within this new world of the Music Men? Who defines what is moral and whose game is he playing? Has his past left him susceptible to a hero complex? Are the Music Men taking advantage of this? Can he just walk away from the mess he finds himself in or does he continue to spiral further down into the web of Music Men? Join Sartaj as he narrates his adventures with the powerful and mystifying Music Men.
All of us are ordinary mortals living our mundane lives. There might be someone who believes in our special powers and always pushes us to achieve greatness but can an ordinary human be extraordinary, in any way?
Sartaj is a brash man from the notorious town of Haryana who has been brought with love and luxury. His mother brought him up cajoling that he’s destined for bigger things. He is a man of several conflicts and is chained in his own thoughts. His life is filled with sex, liquor, and money. Would he be ever able to find true love and the life of a superhero he always wished for?
In ‘Badoga (Music Men Volume 1)’ by Pankaj Saini, as the story started, I was really looking for some supernatural stuff meeting me soon but the story went on without revealing anything. Although my first impression of the book wasn’t very good because of the cover (I personally disliked it), I would not deny the fact that the story turned out to be comparatively good. And the climax that was the eye-candy of the show took its own time to arrive. I liked how the author brought forth the simple fact of finding greatness within ourselves. This story, though appears to be a cliche contemporary drama, has an in-depth message to deliver that even ordinary humans are capable of becoming amazing as we all are inherently unique.
The author mentioned timely that how the book is deviating from what it should be actually offering and honestly, I liked his style. His conversational writing style did create an impact on me as a reader. I would totally appreciate his way of coming up with witty dialogues and humor in the story. The language is crass and profane as mentioned by the author so even though the book has superhero stuff at its focus, I really can’t recommend it to the children. The incessant springing up of rough language irritated me and the unnecessary attention given to the sex and liquor pulled me out of the book outrightly. Agreed that these instances and subjects are put to perhaps keep the story real but honestly, it might please a reader seeking casual entertainment but would not hold a seasoned reader’s attention. Had Sartaj’s story and his character been treated well in the book and the narration kept smooth, I would have enjoyed the book more. But nevertheless, it is a good attempt as a debut author and because I truly liked the writing of the author, I look forward to reading his future works. Also, the book ends with a note for the second part of the series and that definitely looked promising. I am hoping to get a better narrative in the next one.
MY RATING: 3/ 5
Buy your copy: Badoga (Music Men Volume 1)