Posted in book reviews

Book Review: On the Open Road by Stuti Changle

Book Title: On the Open Road

Author: Stuti Changle

Format: Paperback

Total Number of pages: 182

Language: English

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Invincible Publishers

Publishing Date: February 2018


Myra wishes to break free of her cubicle.
Kabir wonders what life would be to build on his own.
Sandy drops out of college to work on the next big startup idea.
Ramy inspires millions of his generation on his travel blog – On the Open Road.

On the Open Road – Three Lives. Five Cities. One Startup, revolves around the lives of these restless and dreamy 20-somethings as they battle their inner demons and the societal taboos to live life on their terms. It is an emotional journey of following one’s heart. The journey entails undying friendship, love and loss, happiness and depression, fear and conquest, dreaming and achieving.

Will they be able to embark on the hard yet empowering journey to startup a company? Or succumb to the hardships on their road to freedom?

My Take:

Stuti Changle weaves an engaging tale of three twenty-somethings whose heads are full of dreams and ideas to make it big into the world of entrepreneurship. The characters are well portrayed and honest.

It is too easy to connect to Myra, a 24-year old IT professional with entrepreneurial dreams since her college years who finds those dreams squashed by the harsh reality of the IT industry. Myra is expecting a promotion that would take her to the US to her boyfriend of eight years who doesn’t seem to understand her anymore. Add family pressure to get married into the mix and you have the recipe for depression. The sudden demise of a colleague pushes Myra to introspect her life decisions, following which she embarks on a journey on the open road to figure herself out.

Kabir is a talented lad from an affluent family who is used to the lavish lifestyle that comes with it but is still restless inside. He has ideas that could change the world but the disproving looks from his uncle and his current girlfriend keep him from stepping out of his role as the CEO of his family company. Kabir lacks the warmth and comfort of family having lost his parents at the tender age of 5. The only person who seems to understand his dilemma is his school friend Sandeepan aka Sandy.

Sandy projects as the hippie of the gang whose fuel is cigarettes and marijuana. But you find him to be the most grounded and collected of the lot during crisis. He is a coder by profession and has been a part of a few small startups involving gaming apps ever since he dropped out of college. He is looking for his big shot.

Kabir and Sandy meet often to discuss startup ideas but these ideas always stay on the tissue papers of the cafes they meet at until one day they wake up to the news of a startup idea similar to Kabir’s being funded with millions of dollars by a Japanese company. This gives them their much-needed wake up call. Kabir resigns from his position as the CEO thereby effectively losing all stake in his family business and his girlfriend in one hard stroke. Kabir and Sandy realise the hurt that comes with a sacrifice like this as they hit the road to trek through the Himalayas with hardly any money left.

The picturesque Himalayan landscapes witness their inner turmoil as they struggle incessantly against family pressure, social mores and most importantly themselves. They fight the raging storms in their hearts, find peace, fall in and out of love, stumble and fall and pick themselves up through their journey on the open road. The book is more about perseverance and loyalty to your dreams more than anything else.

The writing is simple, lucid and crisp. The story moves at a good pace, keeps you hooked. Stuti has done a fantastic job describing the various locations through the journey with such few words. The book is funny and inspiring. It is not one of those life-changing books, rather one that compels you to change it yourself. I was pleasantly surprised by the book and loved reading it. Looking forward to her next one.

Rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to @thebookoholics for the review copy. 🙂

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