Friday, 22 October 2021

400 Days

Details of the Book

No. of Pages    : 352 pages

ISBN               : ISBN-10: 1542094089 and ISBN-13: 978-1542094085

Language         :  English


What I think

Chetan Bhagat’s recent book, 400 Days, is the third instalment in the Z Detectives series (if I may call so) where the duo Keshav and Saurabh is back. It is a mystery/thriller where 350 odd page revolves around finding the twelve-year-old girl Siya who is kidnapped almost a year ago. It is an enormous serving of kaju katli, kheer, parantha, baingan ka bhartha, samosa and what not with a kadala curry and paayasam twist served in banana leaf! Well, it is an old wine in a new bottle that is.


The book is an assured page-turner and I finished in two sittings. It is like that TV serial we reluctantly watch with our parents - a time pass with no key takeaway where missing a few episodes makes no difference whatsoever. The underdog wins and zero transforms into hero. Mothers are always concerned about food and marriage. Fathers are concerned about money, career and settling down. The mother-in-law is evil tongued. Media is a moron. Cops are opportunist. Rich has no moral/emotional values. Fat becomes fatter. Marriage fall apart and comes around because divorce means unhappy children. Ah! There is love at first sight (except that the woman is married with a missing daughter).


Keeping all these cliches apart, the story deals with the threat that social media impose on children. It was disgusting to read through some of the brutal realities written. Alia Arora (Siya’s mother) is beautiful which is described at least a thousand times. It is also written that she is very independent and strong. However, Alia comes across more as a confused person, exactly like someone who gets married at eighteen and later goes into identity crisis in thirties. Her husband Manish is shallow and oscillates between good and bad. No greys mind you. I wish Siya’s life as a captive was explored a little bit more from her viewpoint. But then, Room written by Emma Donoghue has handled it already in detail. There are exact instances from that book!


This could have been a racy thriller. But it settles to be a lazy weekend brunch (pardon the food references. It was bound to happen!) - At least 150 pages more than it should be. And those body-shaming jokes really should stop (if only the author reads this!). Yet, it was entertaining, fun, always urging the reader to turn the page. What else do we need?




From the book blurb

12-year-old Siya has been missing nine months. It’s a cold case, but Keshav wants to help her mother, Alia, who refuses to give up. Welcome to 400 Days―a mystery and romance story like no other.

‘My daughter Siya was kidnapped. Nine months ago,’ Alia said. 

The police had given up. They called it a cold case. Even the rest of her family had stopped searching.

Alia wouldn’t stop looking, though. She wanted to know if I could help her.

Hi, I am Keshav Rajpurohit and I am a disappointment to everyone around me. I live with my parents, who keep telling me how I should a) get married, b) focus on my IPS exams, c) meet more people and d) close my detective agency.

But Alia Arora, neighbour and ex-model, wanted my help. And I couldn’t take my eyes off her face … I mean, her case.

Welcome to 400 Days. A mystery and romance story like none other. An unputdownable tale of suspense, human relationships, love, friendship, the crazy world we live in and, above all, a mother’s determination to never give up.

From India’s highest-selling author comes a page-turner that will not only keep you glued to the story but also touch you deeply.


Chetan Bhagat is the author of eight blockbuster books. These include six novels—Five Point Someone (2004), One Night @ the Call Center (2005), The 3 Mistakes of My Life (2008), 2 States (2009), Revolution 2020 (2011), Half Girlfriend (2014), One Indian Girl (2016), The Girl in Room 105 (2018), One Arranged Murder (2020)—and the non-fiction titles, What Young India Wants (2012) and Making India Awesome (2015). Chetan’s books have remained bestsellers since their release. Several of his novels have been adapted into successful Bollywood films.

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