On The Open Road by Stuti Changle was referred and highly insisted, that I should read it, by my 20 something year old nephew who loved it so much. He said it is about three people’s aspiration to start a company of their own and problems faced by them.
Startups are such a rage everywhere in the world. I still remember a college student was going gaga about her boyfriend who has just started his startup. She just can’t stop gushing about it. Sometimes I feel it is another cool factor among youngsters these days.
A businessman even published a Kindle book, Failing To Succeed, about his many failed startups attempts which sold like hot cakes.
Every day in the newspaper, you will at least find one such news telling about a startup in rage receiving million dollar fund or about shutting down of a startup company.
So picking up On The Open Road by Stuti Changle was an inevitable choice and I was expecting it to be a passionate read.
As my nephew said, this book is about Kabir and Myra, two talented and young individuals who were tired and frustrated by their current professional life and are desperate to embark on the journey of their dreams. Similar is the case of Sandy, who had many failed startups to his credit.
Weak Storytelling and Flat Characters
The outline of the story is great and sounds promising. But plotting of the story has been done poorly and unconvincingly. Kabir and Myra want to do something and quit their business and job respectively but for what exactly, they don’t have any clue about it.
Their ideas find vague or no mention in the storyline. Just like the characters were clueless so was the author.
She was not sure or lacked with relevant startup ideas so she added unnecessary melodrama in the story to show how frustrated both the characters were in their present profession, haywire going gyaan half of which doesn’t make any sense, spineless investors and intimate scenes. If all this was not enough she further added a psychological element to the story.
In spite of all these spices the story was still bland and falls flat due to lack of relevant sequences, passionate and strong reasons to start a company.
Both the lead characters lack depth. More than the startup they seem to be passionate about traveling. You won’t find them compelling and definitely not inspiring. I just couldn’t identify with their urge to give up their secure jobs and didn’t care about the fate of their so called start-up.
To a 20 year old reader it may sound cool to quit their well settled professions and go to Himalaya with a hope that a million dollar idea would strike their mind. But to a 30 year old reader it is running away. To me, personally, it doesn’t make any sense.
Kabir was a well off businessman. He could have easily worked on his startup idea in parallel to his established business.
Similarly Myra could have worked upon her startup idea along with her job and resigned from it when her startup start taking a concrete shape.
It was a disappointing read.
I have superb book recommendation for you all if you wish to read a similar book. The Big Switch by John Thomas. It is about a guy who is fed up with his job and decide to follow his heart and take leap of faith. It is such an inspiring read and encourages you to follow your heart.
Another book which I can think of and which is also a good read is The Long Way Home by Mitali Meelan which is about two brothers who are stuck in wrong professions and how they will keep the fire of their real passion kindled.