As a teenager who came from a humble middle class family, I observed classmates from affluent families and often thought, do their households have the same struggles as ours’? Or do their parents put the same restrictions as mine do? And the most important question that I wondered about was that if they had so much money, did they not have any problems in life?
Well, I did not have to wait for long to get my answers, because I made friends with a couple of, so to say “rich” kids when I went to college. And figured that though the nature of their struggles was different, but these were in no way less mentally and emotionally excruciating than anyone else’s.
When I received The Diary on the Fifth Floor by Raisha Lalwani for reviewing, I wondered what kind of a narrative the superlatively affluent author of the book would have come up with. I didn’t have to wait long once again. That’s because the mind and soul of the author is reflected in the protagonist of the book.
The Diary on the Fifth Floor by Raisha Lalwani – Book Review
The Diary on the Fifth Floor by Raisha Lalwani is a reflection of how Savannah Khanna, a young lady all of 25 years is traumatized by the misgivings of human attitude that makes one insensitive, high-headed, ruthless and sometimes even cruel. She seems to have lost faith in her own kind and is in a constant state of intrinsic trauma. That’s when she brings her love for writing to her rescue and starts penning the incidents that disturb her and other stories in her diary. Years pass by, yet she finds no relief from the pain and pessimism that engulfs her life. She loses confidence in herself and seeks psychiatric help.
Once the reader is introduced to Savvy’s diary, what follows is a series of entries describing incidents that have jolted Savvy to the core and raise questions about the purpose of everything. Now that as per me is quite a strong form of being empathetic, when you start feeling another’s pain and live in the trauma thereafter.
Everyday, we read newspapers full of news about how the human kind is growing but regressively. These incidents leave a lasting impact on us. But how many of us lose hope or give it up. Well, Savvy is on the verge of giving up and thus comes to her rescue Dr. Berry. The short and timid looking old lady comes as a ray of hope for Savvy and pulls her out of the dungeons of dejection and hopelessness.
The author has been so deep rooted in her approach that a part of analysis of her writing style has been presented by the author herself. One of the excerpts, completely summarizes what one must expect to read in this book,
‘My dear,’ she leaned forward, patting Savannah’s hand with her own, ‘why do you carry so much sadness? Why do you always end your story with a…with a jolt? Why must they all end with a jarring thump?’
Well you have to read the book, to know why Savvy’s diary entries are the way they are, but I have to congratulate Raisha Lalwani for taking a step back from the hustle of her busy social life and sit back to think for a moment. To think about the purpose of it all, to try and get to the root of it or even just wonder about it. For shedding a tear or two yourself and making the readers shed a few too.
I have to thank Raisha Lalwani for writing this book, and making readers like me wonder where are we as a human race headed. Could we make a difference at all, or are we doomed to see how much more lower can our own kind stoop.
The poignancy in the short stories is sure hit you hard in your gut and if not much, atleast make you introspect if there is anything at all that you could do to make things better.