ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anand Suspi is an advertising honcho, who accidentally turned into a writer. After he had written his book, he reached out to Paper Boat, the manufacturer of traditional Indian snacks and beverages in modern packaging. Half Pants, Full Pants went on to become the very first book that the brand published. Anand grew up in the Shimoga of the ’70s and ’80s. The nostalgia and beautiful memories that he has of the town can still be discerned in his writing.
Half Pants, Full Pants: Real-life Tales from Shimoga is a collection of the childhood memories of the author, Anand Suspi. The plot revolves around him and his friends and family. The stories are set in the small, quaint town of Shimoga in the state of Karnataka. There are several chapters in the book (apart from the “bonus material”), each of which revolves around a separate memory or event. The book is further divided into two parts: Half Pants and Full Pants, the latter of which talks about his teenage and the events that followed thereafter.
Anand begins the book by telling the readers about Shimoga and the people that inhabit it. He lived in the railway staff quarters. He was a naïve child when he was in the third grade and spent a majority of his time playing near the railway tracks. Suspi shares stories wherein he and his friends went about their escapades and hardly paid any attention to the consequences of their actions. He shares some unique and unusual incidents from his childhood, such as making 5-paisa chapatis and becoming insanely popular among his classmates, not to mention his kung-fu bouts with mosquitoes. The story takes the readers back to the time when children spent a major chunk of their time playing outside. They didn’t have access to the gadgets that have now fully replaced and demolished the previous generation’s notion of childhood, while also replacing playgrounds and taking away the very essence of their childish innocence.
Coming to the technicalities, the book is quite well written. Anand’s writing style is similar to that of R.K Narayan. The stories carry the refreshing fragrance of Shimoga, which instantly help the readers feel associated with Anand’s past. Each of the chapters of the book is independent in its own right and does not follow a specific plot. The book does lack a logical arrangement that would have tied all the chapters together. This, however, also has a positive side to it as the readers can start reading any chapter at random without getting confused.
The book offers an invigorating and blissful change of pace from the usual intense, fast-paced novels. By the time you’ve put down the book, you can’t help but be won over by it. Little Anand and the serene town of Shimoga will reside in a corner of your heart – probably forever.
Half Pants, Full Pants is a poignant and heart-warming novel that allows the readers, especially those who are millennials, to gain a different perspective about the innocence of childhood. The author strives to bring back the sweet and sour memories, which are duly served with a generous amount of humor. The book does not fail to evoke a tinge of nostalgia and instantly transports the readers to Suspi’s wonderful past.
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