The Four Patriots

by Sumit Agarwal

Read this in about 5 minutes
There is an island in the middle of the Pacific which is submerged completely in water during the high tides. This island is also a place where vampire bats come every full moon night and stay for a week. It is also fabled that if someone somehow survives the water he will not survive the vampire bats. Looks like we have found our own fabled kala pani! 
It has been a wonderful start to the new year. A beautiful book by our own Indian author. Sumit Agarwal is an author to look out for. 

Cover page 

Rupa publishers have slowly climbed up to become one of my favourite publishers. They not only produce good covers but a great product in all. This book is no different. The cover page is a beautiful composition. From front cover to spine to the back cover, this book is a stunning work of graphic art. The font of the outside compliments the imagery. 
But the most important of all is the text inside. The intelligent planning of the font and the spacing and everything inside just eases the reading experience. 
A great product design, truly. 

Characters 

As the books suggests the story is about four patriots. They are Varun, Aditya, Salman and Raghav. Varun is a sly man who knows to twists his ways when the problems are not solved with straight approaches. He is an ardent Anil Kapoor fan, jhakkas! Aditya is a man who likes to understand his area of work and for which he likes to start small. His zeal to get the work done, dirtying his own hands is quite extraordinary. Salman is a hunk with a distinct style. His short tempered tone is evident throughout he book. He is a man who wants to clean the system and bring about a revolution. He strongly believes in jutice served as prasaad! Raghav is royalty. His family politics did not work out for him so he walked out and joined another party which intended towards a clean government. 
These four form the chakravyuh. The author has kept in mind the detailing that makes the characters so impactful and yet relatable. 

Content 

Have we all not met people who believe that India cannot be a clean country. That it cannot be corruption free. That the education system is going to dogs. That healthcare is a joke. Yes, we have. And while we all know the answer to how we can better the scenario, no one dares to take a step towards it. 
This book is a step. A small step but still a step. 
The story is about four young men who have the following things in common: 
  1. They all have seen the bad governance and want to change it by personal involvement in the field. 
  2. They all have women who have inspired them towards it. 
While the second might just be a plot the first stands important. They start small and make it big eventually. 
The book starts with the prime minister of the country being assassinated and a frenzy in the ground. And then it takes us back to the individual heroes and their lives, eventually moving on to their participation in politics. While in the first part of the book can be seen as a slow transformation of the four patriots, it is the second part where the story truly picks up pace. 
The author quite smartly infuses the problems of the nation into the plot and weaves a story which aims at problem solving. Now we all may think that the author is probably answering a million dollar question about how to improve the state of the affairs in this book of 298 pages, which he is not. The author has addressed issues like corruption, poverty, education etc by simple solutions that are being discussed on Facebook and twitter everyday. The solutions range from Janlokpal bill, de-privatisation of some sectors, rehabilitation of the poor to another place etc. 
Even though the author provided the solution which is often debated on every platform the core of the book remains the same throughout. 'Be a part of the system to better it. Dekhna nahi karna hai.' 
The styling of the prose is one thing that is worth looking forward to. the authors beings from the history and takes us to the future in 2022. The idea of showing the future when you work on the present is quite intelligent. 
I enjoyed the story and have definitely been inspired by it. The active political participation is what is the need of the day. 

Language 

It is hard to believe that it is the work of a debutante author. The language is simple yet compelling. There elements of thrill and surprise at places where you hardly expect them to be. The humour is quite appealing. It is a well narrated fast paced story. 

Good points 

The cover page is stunning. The characters are relatable. There is a distinct flow to the story which is quite gripping. The language is simple yet engrossing. 

Bad points 

There are some editing errors in the book which spoils the flow at few places, nothing grave. 

Overall 

It has been a great start to the new year. This is the first an a good read. 

Whom do I recommend this to 

This book is for those who enjoy a great story with a message. Those who might be interested in politics, in general, are going to love this one too. Though it is for all the citizens of India who want to see a better future. 

Quotable quotes 

Be evil to some if you have to, for the greater good.
I received this book for review from the publicity team. The opinions are my own, completely unbiased.