As time changes, human beings generally tend to look back at their yesteryears with a feeling of nostalgia. This feeling looms large and makes the readers feel the same emotion at their personal levels too. Vivek Kumar, in his book, “The Fishbowl: Story of the Storyteller,” evokes the same sentiment and appeals powerfully to all readers, young or old. The young readers get to have a flavor of the aesthetic aspect of the earlier times while grown-up readers reminisce their younger years.
With a book cover that baffles the readers and provokes a variety of impressions on their minds, it invites the readers on a positive note to dive into the book and understand the idea behind such an intriguing title. Unlike his earlier works like “To Catch a Smile,” “To Catch a Butterfly,” and “Love, Me and Bullshit,” “The Fishbowl” is a different work altogether and brings out another artistic side of the author and the readers who have read his former works would feel interested in reading this one automatically. This work sort of reintroduces the author and his style of writing and provokes readers to pick up his earlier works and read them too. At the same time, it also displays the maturity and polish that he has acquired after writing 3 books. By the time the readers finish the book, they can no less agree with the title that the author has rightfully chosen.
On the surface, “The Fishbowl” features a young boy’s story, the events in his life, and how they influence him, his growth, more like a bildungsroman, but on closer examination, the readers would see the other themes that form the framework of the book. These themes include learning in life; the independence hostel life teaches an individual, the permanence of change in life, etc. There are different stages where young readers can identify with the narrator, and there is ample space for grown-up readers to understand the psyche of young people in their formative years. This makes the work important from a psychological point of view. The work may be about a child’s life told by a grown-up while he looks back in the past, he does not let his opinions or maturity affect the narrative and leaves it to the discretion of the readers to understand things from their perspective
The metaphorical associations of a fishbowl and a child’s life can be understood when the readers start reading between the lines in the content. There is an unspoken element of nostalgia that pervades the canvas of “The Fishbowl,” and even if the author does not intend to invoke the emotion, it still creeps in through the spaces. The author builds the narrative at his comfortable pace and lets the readers deconstruct the layers that envelop the plot. The readership of this book cannot be limited to any particular age or audience. Instead, the book is open to reading for all who are interested in reading a work that seems to be written in a fictional framework with overtones of nonfictional content. Divided into 10 chapters with an additional beginning, an end, and an epilogue, the book is open to all kinds of readers and even those who want to initiate in the world of reading. For all those who look for a book that can be read at any time of the day with a vocabulary that is easy to understand and a plot that would keep them engaged whenever they pick up the book and also a content that is light at one point and significant at the same time, “The Fishbowl” is a recommended book.