Resident Dormitus - Vikas Rathi


ISBN - 978-81-291-1754-0
PAGES - 196
BINDING - Paperback
GENRE - Fiction

AUTHOR - Vikas Rathi

- na

SYNOPSIS - Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you went through it with childlike nonchalance?

Have you ever wondered whether you should pursue happiness or happily pursue life?

Have you ever felt tormented by the trivial and the profound?

Welcome to the world of Achet.

Achet hails from a small town. Having excelled at whatever the world threw at him, he is set to climb the tallest corporate ladders around. But he doesn't know what he wants from life. Both, his desire to explore life and his work take him to Singapore. And thus begins the journey of self-discovery.

Despite the hectic schedule at work he finds the time to cynically size up those around him, experiment with drugs, lie for cheap thrills, display a complete disregard for professional ethics, almost commits career-suicide and a....cold-blooded murder.

Is there salvation for Achet? If so, is the price too high? Find out for yourself.

I filled up the particulars in the Visitor's Book and was given a temporary visitor card. During that time, I had to bear the brunt of the security guard's questioning looks. And i didn't blame him. There were probably two types of people who came to this office: the ones who carried authority and the ones who served the authorities. I didn't look or behave like either. With an average height and about a weight that encouraged rumours about a possible escape from a Somalian refugee camp, I didn't fit into the first category; however, I also didn't look like the type to submit to servitude.

I had lived and mastered this dualism throughout my life simply because I didn't really have any alternative. I was born grossly underweight. The doctor said that it was because I was a premature baby though i couldn't understand why my mother, who was otherwise quite patient, could not wait for the right time.

FL Speak -
Scaringly brilliant. In a country where writers pop-up in every small town or city to be the next Chetan Bhagat, Vikas Rathi has the potential to go one notch better.

Friendship, Corporate slave and Self-realization. That's what Resident Dormitus is mainly about. Its a flashback. A flashback that lasts just one year and very few memories. But the way it is narrated, is one sweet ride. Resident Dormitus is about Achet. It all starts with Mumbai where he meets Dev. Dev and Achet come to Mumbai for an orientation after which they will be placed in the company and posted within India, Singapore and Malaysia. But its in Singapore that their real life starts. Achet meets Arjuna and Alex. Dev is soon transferred to Singapore and together they embark on wasting their days in office and partying and drinking themselves out at nights.

In between coffee breaks and pub hopping, they share a bond which is neither permanent nor fickle. And as life toys with them, some succumb while some awake from a stupor. One of the strongest lines in the book is about their friendship and their romance with their job.

"Each one of us had figured out different ways of surviving. Alex was swimming. I was drifting. Dev was barely afloat while Arjuna was thinking of jumping ship."

And its after these lines, that their lives start to change. It was troubles that brought them together. Ironically, those same troubles worked towards pulling them apart. A friend hell bent on self destruction, a friend hell bent on turning into a terrorist, and an ending so emotionally detached and cold makes this book come to life. One good thing i loved about this book is that it doesn't foray into sex like all the other new-age Indian writers do. This book rides on content and the surreal way it is narrated.

The beginning 15-20 pages made me laugh non-stop. Most times, its the beginning that makes or breaks a book. This book instantly lets you know that you will not regret reading it. Yes, the middle pages do tend to drag and you somewhat find the creative narration a bit too much for your taste. But Vikas Rathi makes sure he doesn't overdo it with clich├ęd or cheesy one-liners. Conversation wise, this book sorely lacks. But it makes up for it, with great writing and great quotes.

The end did feel odd to me. I really don't want to let it out. But it was more anti-climatic to me when i expected something quite more chilly. But i guess, the end had to be something like that to make sense for the beginning. This is a refreshing change from every other new writer in the country. The fact that there is a girl in the story and she is more of a side character and whose sexual life is not blatantly characterized wins more brownie points. Not that i don't like reading about sex, but at times not reading about sex is much better than reading cheesy Indian sex in the latest novels.

Vikas Rathi can go a long way if he keeps writing like this, with a few minor adjustments to a heavier plot and yet manage NOT to go for bollywood potboilers. Is this a must read? Not exactly. Is this worth every single penny? Hell yes! And yes, he is one Indian writer i will keep tabs on.

My Rating - 4 stars.

INR 195/- [Rupa Publications]

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


  1. Wow! Good Indian Writers are scarce...with the hordes following one type. This one would be worth a read!

    Good Review. :)

  2. aye! this one is much better than the one you ordered from flipkart. lol

  3. I was under duress. Someone allured me, with that coffee on the cover. Thank you. I rest my case. :P

  4. Nice review. Seems interesting.

    Do you give reviews on all the books by Indian Authors?

  5. Nice review. Seems interesting.

    Do you give reviews on all the books by Indian Authors?

  6. Nice review. Seems interesting.

    Do you give reviews on all the books by Indian Authors?

  7. @megha

    Not all, just the ones i get my hands on and manage to finish the book

  8. I am buying this right away ... :D *opens flipkart* :D

  9. Hey I'd read this book too..reviewed it on my blog as well.. :D ...Like the way you've reviewed it :) ..

  10. @nimue
    its good..but not that good...baad mein daantna mat :P

  11. @confused soul

    yeah :p i read your review...your one is much better

  12. FL .. i kinda like it .. dnt worry .. no blame on you !

  13. Thanks for a wonderful review. I wasn't expecting such appreciation. Makes it worth its while for me. Cheers.


Keep reading, keep suggesting, keep commenting

Regional: 1980 by Anver Abdulla

  Though Anver Abdulla is an accomplished name in Malayalam Detective fiction ( he has given us some genuinely memorable detective Novels li...