Monday, October 2, 2017

Book Review: One Enduring Lesson by Jamal Merchant

When it comes to choosing a book, two things attract me - Book cover and blurb. One Enduring Lesson by Jamal Merchant (Rupa Publications) has a captivating cover that offers a glimpse of lovely love story. However, this book can not be categorized as a love story.

One Enduring Lesson tells a thoughtful story of Rahul Saxena, son of an Indian father and British mother, who aspires to be a successful film producer. Out of job and rejected in love, Rahul decides to move ahead and leaves London to live in Mumbai to study film making. But, his life and Mumbai have different - some shocking, some enlightening - plans for him. He meets different women and eventually falls in love with one.

This book talks about the culture, people, lifestyle and challenges of  the city of dreams, Mumbai as Rahul (turned Radium) meets various people and bizarre situations.

How and why an aspiring film producer turns into 'Radium'? How he tackles the difficulties? Would he be able to complete his studies and become a successful film-maker? What about his love story? You will have to read One Enduring Lesson to find the answers.

Style/format-wise, One Enduring Lesson is a different book. It's somewhat a collection of inter-connected stories in the form of Rahul's different experiences in Mumbai. These stories or experiences cover almost every problem/issue of different parts of India. It reflects the social structure of our country.

Overall, it's a nice and thoughtful read, but the problem with this book is its writing style. The writing style overly follows the (reverse) rule, 'Tell, Don't Show'. The writing fails to build up the intrigue, which is sad because there are some intriguing elements in the story. Also, Rahul, the main protagonist seems to have instant and foolproof solutions to everybody's problems except his own problems. It was a tad annoying and impractical.

One Enduring Lesson is a tale of the undying human spirit of survival against all odds (Quoted from the blurb). If you are looking for a light yet thoughtful read, go for it.

About the author: Jamal Merchant came to England from Tanzania, East Africa, in 1972, and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1976. He then settled in London where he is now self-employed as a property finance broker. Jamal has travelled widely including to India, China, Egypt, USA, Canada and the Middle East. His interests include reading, current affairs, movies and cricket. One Enduring Lesson, a love story based in India, is his debut novel.

I received the book from the publisher for an honest review.


  1. It's my kind of read. I like books where I have to invest myself as a reader. BTW, what do you mean by turning into a radium?

  2. Radium - Rahul's fake identity (for some reason).

    Thanks for reading, Saru. :)