Seldom do we connect with a person who was just a mere acquaintance on a flight, however, the story delves into a strange yet relatable bond between a charismatic Wall Street guy and a fussy mom which is sure to strike a chord among readers.
A flight from New Delhi to New York. Two strangers, seat 7A and seat 7B, who have nothing in common. Absolutely nothing. Except they are both hoping the seat next to theirs remains empty. It doesn’t. Mid-flight turbulence and infant incontinence forces them to interact—the cool Wall Street guy and the mom-with-the-drool-stained-sweater-and-ordinary-aspirations.
Blistering wit, opposing views, and some unexpectedly poignant admissions keep them addictive engaged and hopelessly sleep deprived through the fifteen-hour journey. Touch down. And they leave the cabin without a backward glance, jumping right back into their dramatically different lives.
Never to meet again. But somehow they continue to travel together—interlocked forever through an inexplicable connectedness. Can one meeting change everything forever? The Japanese have a term for it: ichi-go ichi-e. One time, one encounter, lasts a lifetime.
However, to describe this story in one word, the French too have a term for it: Faites-le vitement: Do that quickly.
The story in ‘A Year Of Wednesdays’ is slow paced with too many unfathomable references which disallow the reader to invest in the story even though he would want otherwise. However, some references did increase my to-be-watched movies list but did not give impetus to character development.
Fans of Mad Max are in for a treat as many inner turmoils are described in relation to the movie. It’s witty with the story weaved around 42 Wednesdays in the year. Bahl tries to create a wonderful lived-in texture with the protagonist’s giddy effervescence and her aching vulnerability.
“My favourite day is Wednesday. It’s not the start of the week. It’s not a flamboyant Friday. It’s not the revered weekend. And yet, this humble mid-week day has this halo around it. I feel like nothing bad can ever happen on a Wednesday.” These lines flawlessly describe the title and cover image of the book.
It’s written in 1st person with two perspectives. The book is amiable but never becomes essential as the editing could have been crisper. The second half of the book ‘A Year Of Wednesdays’ loses some of this steam, but one could look out for the letter in the last chapter where the protagonist is her witty and woeful best, an oxymoron which perfectly sums up the book as a whole.
The writer perfectly defines long distance relationship in the lines- “Like the 28th of February and 29th of February, you remain this close and yet a year apart.” However, the book is not unique beyond the clutches of the cliche, and the most impressive part is the use of vocabulary.
As a reader, I desperately wanted to be empathetic towards the character, but it ceased to exist as they were underwritten. The book has touched upon the topic of love, friendship, responsibility, and achievements but fails to delve deep into it.
The alliterations used in the chapter names were compelling. To name a few- Weathering a Wednesday storm, Another Winning Wednesday, Out of Whack Wednesday, It’s all her fault Wednesday. Some of the best witty lines from ‘A Year Of Wednesdays’ to have a light-hearted laugh during the read are:
“Stupid people being the ones who show a lack of empathy towards race, gender, colour, climate change, animal rights, and even parallel parking!”
“I’m not sure when Sheryl Sandberg started leaning in, but I’ll bet Natasha started when I was learning to play Lego.”
“I’m too busy having a life, so you won’t find me on social media.”
In a nutshell, it was a compelling read with some loose ends, but the vocabulary and wit had enough buoyancy to keep it afloat.
Book Name: ‘A Year Of Wednesdays’
Publisher – Fingerprint Publishing
Genre – Fiction
Date of Release – March 1, 2019
Paperback – 280 pages