(Last Updated on : 06/01/2009)
This book Beach Boy
reflects on some important aspect of life. With an acute ear for the nuances of Indian English and a comic appreciation of a boy's life, Ardashir Vakil creates an extraordinarily vivid scene of India while at the same time drawing a rich portrait of adolescence and its appetites.
Ardashir Vakil was born in Bombay. He has taught English at several London comprehensives and MA Creative Writing at Middlesex, Roehampton and Goldsmiths. The author's first book 'Beach Boy' won a Betty Trask Award in the year of 1997. The book was also short listed for the Whitbread First Novel Award. His second novel was also awarded for the Encore Award. Ardashir Vakil was educated at the Doon School. Presently he lives in London with his wife and two daughters. He teaches Creative Writing at Goldsmiths and UEA.
Beach Boy is Ardashir Vakil's first novel. In this book eight years old Cyrus Readymoney introduces us to his magical universe of movies and mischief. His life and different aspects is clearly depicted in the story. His tennis tournaments and truant afternoons, sex and samosas, the sea and the shore, etc. and many more. Exploring Bombay in the early 1970s, Cyrus strays from his mostly absent parents, members of the Parsi elite, into the complex world of his neighbors, including a mysterious maharani and her seductive adopted daughter. In his travels, he experiences the splendor of Hindi films and delights in all manner of mouthwatering food. But in the course of his wanderings, Cyrus finds himself caught between the innocence and carefree ness of his youth and the responsibility and worry that await him in adulthood. When his parents' gets separated and his family is shattered, Cyrus is forced out of his carefree existence into a more severe reality. This book is written in a nice manner. This book has succeeded to depict the life of a boy, circa 1972. One of the running themes is food, another is film, although these are very vivid, they sort of pop in and out, sometimes rather forcedly. Granted, the food scenes make the mouth water, even if one isn't really sure what is being described, but the film scenes fail to elicit the same level of enchantment. Many of the short chapters are obviously semi-autobiographical, and many of the events read like personal experiences. This is not a fiction type.
Being published by the famous publishing house Penguin Book 'Beach Boy' by Ardashir Ali is his first venture where he got the Betty Trask Award in the year of 1997.