Have you picked up your copies of Campus Blues by Sentilong Ozukum? Read these Book Reviews by students of Tetso College to find out more about the book.
Campus Blues by Sentilong Ozukum
Book Review by Lamneiphal Khongsai
B. A 2nd Semester, Dept. Of English
The novel centers around a college student named Moluti Jamir and the whole novel is written in his point of view. Moluti is an average looking guy and a mediocre student who is pursuing his degree in English honours. The way Moluti describes him opting for science stream to fulfill his father’s desire for him to become a doctor is something most of the readers can relate to. The youth of this generation is overburdened by the unaccomplished wishes and regrets of their parents. The way parents pressure their children to pursue the road not taken by them is beautifully written, perhaps causing the readers to understand that a person should have the freedom to pursue any career path he/she wishes.
The author has also brought up the naga society’s obsession with K-drama and K-pop. He has displayed this obsession ironically as the protagonist, Moluti first condemns K-dramas but eventually becomes a fan of them after his memory of his crush gets triggered every time he sees the Korean actress Song Hye Kyo. The protagonist falls in love at first sight with a stranger he met in the college campus and is swept off his feet by “her angelic face, the infectious smile and her black hair that flowed across her shoulders like a beautiful song”. (Page no. 89) His desperation to meet Esther (his crush), his jealousy towards Esther’s well endowed tall male friend, his financial struggles and his failed attempts to approach her makes the readers develop a feeling of sympathy for Moluti.
Despite all the series of interesting and relatable events, the fact that it was Esther who replied Moluti’s text wasn’t convincing enough for me because in real life it is rare to have your crush to notice you or for your crush to reciprocate your feelings. Also, Ali having feelings or eventually developing feelings for Moluti was very predictable. It was only a matter of how, when and where she would confess it to Moluti.
Keeping aside the minor hiccups the ending of the novel is either the best or possibly the worst.
The best because the ending draws the attention of the reader making him/her curious about the response of Moluti after Ali confessed her love for him. The reader jumps into conclusions like;
“Will Moluti reject Ali to be with Esther?”
“Does Moluti love Ali as well? It is only reasonable for him to feel that way as they have known each other for a long time and are very close to each other”
“Will Ali double text Moluti telling him that it was just a prank?” etc.
The conclusions the readers come up with is endless. Because of the curiosity of the readers to know what’s next, rest assured the readers will surely buy and read the sequel. This is an amazing way to captivate the reader and to grasp their attention to feed them more.
The ending is possibly the worst because readers like me need to wait for a few years to know Moluti’s response and reaction in the sequel making us restless and secretly hoping to get our hands on an unofficial, unpublished version or draft of the sequel.
Critical appreciation on “Campus Blues” by Sentilong Ozukum
By Alila Longkumer
B. A 2nd Semester
Department of English.
Campus Blues is a short novel by Sentilong Ozukum which is about love, friendship and beyond. Sentilong Ozukum is an emerging literary voice from Northeast India. Campus Blues is a short novel which consists of 15 chapters.The story revolves around a character named Moluti Jamir who is an 2nd year literature student.It deals with different aspects of his life like friendship, love, fear and many more.The story starts with him being “bitten by a love bug”. He adores a girl in his college and is keen to win her heart no matter what and he ends up taking the help of his best friend, Ali. But, later on his best-friend turns out to be not so keen on helping him. Soon he comes to realise that his best-friend was indeed in love with him the entire time.
This novel also reveals various matters that is somehow true like the education system of our country. In chapter six, we can see the main character not being so happy with the education system. It shows that in today’s education system, more importance is given to notes writing rather than explaining something that is out of the context. As we go through the novel, it also shows the sense of humour present in the main character which makes the story more fun to read as seen in chapter seven “In fact, my father’s dream was that at least one of his sons should become a medical doctor. Judging by the amount of spurious liquor he was consuming on a daily basis he would definitely need a liver specialist to look after him in his later years”.
This novel also points out the reality of every Indian family. In chapter seven, it reflects the mentality of parents in mostly every Indian family where children are pressurized to follow the path chosen by their parents. The speaker also mentions some of the reality facts in chapter seven:“The idea of hammering the child into the shape desired by the parent or teacher is a barbarous and ignorant superstition. The chief aim of education should be to help the growing soul to draw out that in itself which is best and make it perfect for a noble use”. In chapter nine, the speaker also mentions about the existence of ghost because of his bad experience that he had in hostel which makes him believe that evil does exists in this world.
Hence,this novel is a total package for the reason that it reflects on every aspects of life. It is not just a love story but it also focuses on the facts of today’s education system. The very fact that in today’s education system more importance is given to dictating notes in class rather than explaining something out of the context which would also enable the students to be more creative. Creativity is not given so much importance in today’s education rather everyone is so busy chasing marks and be on top. Through this novel we also get a glimpse of the reality present in every family. The mentality of those parents who in order to fulfill their own dreams, force their kids to pursue the career chosen by them. Sometimes, parents don’t realise that every child is special and hence,it is not right to compare their children. Rather they should support their children, help and understand them and accordingly, guide them to follow their dreams.Therefore,we should never take the shine away from them because as long as we follow our dreams; success will be at our back.
With all the real issues that humans face in their life, the author does not forget to reflect on the ideals of life which includes love and friendship. Hence, in totality this book does not just deal with romance and friendship but it also draws our attention to the reality checks of our life at the same time it also creates some humour and reflects on the existence of ghosts which makes the story more interesting and unique in itself. Hence Campus Blues is not simply a love story but the very fact that it reflects on various issues of life at the same time bringing some humour through the main character in this story makes the book more captivating in totality. So, this novel is filled with humour, wit, romance, friendship and fear to some extent.