When was the first time an elder sat you down and talked about the dos and don’ts of sex? When was the first time someone that you look up to educated you about the options available for safe sex? Infact leave that when was the first time somebody told you about how babies are born? I am sure never and no-one.
It is usually through the half baked truths from our peers or searches on the net that the youth of our country get educated in this department. Yes that’s what happens in our country; where we are made to switch channels or look the other way even if there is a scene where the hero kisses even the cheeks of the heroine. We are too shy to even pronounce ‘sex’ out loud let alone discuss about it. Sex Education is close to nil in India; one of the many reasons for AIDs raising its head alarmingly in the country. Strange thing is even the doctors find it weird to discuss and enlighten you about it.
I had a friend who was about to get married and she visited a gynecologist just to make sure she leart about all the methods of contraception at hand from a specialist so that she wouldn’t have to rely on the net or her friends. The doctor declined to tell her anything until she showed her the wedding card confirming her soon to be marriage! Preposterous isn’t it! Well that’s one of the many faces of India for you!
In a conservative and morally uptight society like ours anything related to sex is frowned upon. In a country where discussing Sex is a taboo; here comes an author, Ankit Uttam, who writes a novel titled ’Thirty year old Virgin’. Well if that isn’t bold then I wonder what is. He surely deserves kudos for his attempt and no the book isn’t about sex education. Indian authors usually have avoided this territory intentionally for ages barring a select few; which is strange but it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Ankit has successfully broken out of that mold.
’Thirty year old Virgin’ is a love story set in young urban India. Ambition, sex and love; the book has a hearty combination of all three. Essentially a love story; it is fast paced which is good as I am not a fan of slow paced novels. The story moves through different phases of lives of the protagonists, Arnav and Maya. Their love–hate relationship takes you through the book with sex being the catalyst. There is no particular character that will win your heart; as a matter of fact they are not meant to. Probably that’s good as none of them are portrayed as perfect just as anyone would be in real life. Another fact that I really like about this book is no grammatical mistakes! I have read a few books recently and they murdered the whole notion of editing and proof reading; which is a very big put off.
The narration is good but at times vague. The first few pages for instance will confuse you but it is perhaps Ankit setting the tone for the rest of the novel. Maya’s escapades are sometimes slightly farfetched and over the top; for instance the adventures with Ronnie in the car. It goes on for quite a number of pages too making you wish for it to end and the story to move forward.
The story is about sex; about love; the male protagonist is an entrepreneur whose company sells Condoms; so I do not really find a relevant relation of the title to the story unless it was a deliberate attempt by the author to garner curiosity; in which case I think he has been really successful.
The writing style of Ankit is commendable; he has a hold on the language. Unlike many new authors that I have read recently; Ankit has never for a moment massacred the English language. He has also not made any ridiculous attempts to sound cool by mixing Hindi and English together in the book.
To fairly conclude; the book is surely worth a read as it dwells upon the subject of whether two people can have sex with no strings attached. Read for yourself to find out.