Book Review: Life in the Sunshine: Autobiography of an Unknown Cricketer -by T. Sathish

Book Blurb:

Sat, Sam, and Trib (a.k.a Triple Sundae gang) are teenagers and they love the sport of Cricket. They spend most of their time watching and playing the sport they love. They dream of making their living in the sport.
When they are not playing the game, they put on their thinking cap and come up with alternate versions of important matches or provide parodic answers to questions that have plagued cricket fans over the years.
However, fate intervenes in their idyllic life. On 18th April 1986, Javed Miandad hits Chetan Sharma for a six in Sharjah and leaves their cricket viewing life in tatters. The after-effects of this fateful event, continue to haunt them for many years.
Their problems don’t end there.
Sat fails to graduate from school level cricket to state level cricket. He is heartbroken by the loss of his dreams and faces a mini identity crisis.
How do the boys solve their problems?
Will the boys ever recover from that Javed Miandad incident?
Will Sat get his mojo back?
Come, join the heartwarming ride and find out the answers, as Sat takes you through his nostalgic memories of the sport and narrates his coming of age story, which is deeply influenced by the sport!

Review:

Before I start with the review, let’s address the elephant in the room which is my love for Cricket. I have always loved watching Cricket since childhood and had more than a few opportunities to play gully cricket. We had our own versions of playing cricket at school, inventing ways and modifying rules; aah those glorious days.

This book is a debut novel by T. Sathish, which in my opinion is not only a good coming of age story but a treat for cricket lovers who love facts. This book is loaded with anecdotes that seem inspired by true events and does have a tinge of underlying humour that doesn’t disappoint.

Cricket has been an integral part of every household in India; love it or hate it, you definitely cannot ignore it. Since the winning of 1983 World cup, there has been no looking back. People got engaged more and more as the game grew bigger and mightier.

The book starts with a typical day where the wife is angry because her husband is watching cricket all day. The story then takes you back in time to introduce Trib, Sat and Sam (the Triple Sundae Gang) who are neighbors and end up becoming close friends due to cricket. The story keeps commenting on the contemporary cricket of the time line in which the book is set, which makes the whole story more authentic and fascinating.

The evolution of cricket is well absorbed in the evolution of story. The characters develop quite swiftly and take over on front foot. The story is not only about a single person and his struggles with the bat, but the game-Cricket comes out as the protagonist quite evidently. How cricket became a religion in early years is depicted quite literally which is hilarious yet believable at the same time.

T. Sathish has put in a lot of effort in describing the game and the emotions attached to it. The story does lose its sheen by the end of first half but the emotions of the book continue to grow and expand. Nevertheless, the book leaves you more nostalgic and content in the end. The book takes another curve after scoring the ones and twos in the middle and goes onto bat aggressively in the death overs.

What I liked about the book? The book breathes cricket, it not only deals with the technicalities of the game but, the behavioral aspect as well. The unguarded characters which were exposed to the other side of cricket yet being so passionate about the same, was a delight to read.

If you are a cricket fan who understands the game, who has played in the gully, who watches the team play, who occasionally wished to play for the country or simply a person who enjoys cricket; this is the book for you. It’s an easy read with simple language which you can enjoy on the go.

Book Information:

Pages: 230

Language: English

Genre: Fiction

My Rating: 3.5/5

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