Thursday 24 December 2020

Book Review of 'Journey from Guwahati to Macchiwara' by Rajiv Bakshi

I bought the book after almost two years of first hearing about it from the author himself. The first thing that surprised me when I opened the package was the size - it's a small one, like a pocket book. 

I immediately sent a message to Rajiv Bakshiji, to express my shocked disappointment. 

'It's overpriced, sir.' I have always been blunt with feedback, especially to people with whom I interact directly. 'The font is so big, there are many empty pages and pictures, so little to read. 200 bucks is too much.' I continued. 

Bakshiji graciously thanked me for the initial feedback and urged me to read the book. I then got around to reading the collection of stories. 

Rajiv Bakshiji's unwavering enthusiasm in putting down his experiences is highly commendable. The read has the feel of an evening time chit-chat over coffee with a retired banker, reminiscing about his working days. 

Some of them resonate with the Indian middle class thinking and mannerisms, giving it a homely, refreshing feel. The first chapter, when he begins his career at Guwahati has beautiful tinges of nostalgia and a fresh atmosphere in it. My favourite one however, is the story when he recounts his experience of being bitten by bees. It has a trace of humourous self mockery and irony in it. The stories have characters who are real people that the author has known during the course of his life journey. 

However, most of them are like articles that one reads on the newspaper. They need to have more plot, story and conflict to be called stories. 

The biggest grouse I have is the grammar, sentence structuring, unnecessary capitalization and spelling errors in the book. A good dose of heavy editing can make the book more readable and entertaining. 

Having penned a novel myself, I completely understand the perpetual woes of editing - multiple scans of the pages looking for typos/errors and the backbreaking study of hundreds of pages - that still leave some inevitable errors in the final work. However, this book is a rather small one with a large font size. Some glaring errors could have easily been rectified.

I rate the book a 3.2 out of 5. Minus points are mainly owed to the editors of the publishing house, who could have done their job a lot better.

Did you find my review honest? Do let me know in the comments.

Keep up the reading, readers!



  1. Thanks a lot for your honest Review . Since it was my first Book , some errors might have crept in . Now I am writing for newspapers and various magazines

    1. You're welcome, Sir. I have read a couple of your newspaper articles. They are highly insightful.