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Book Review: My Name is Cinnamon by Vikas Prakash Joshi

My Name is Cinnamon by Vikas Prakash Joshi is a riveting novel about a teenage boy who longs to find out his biological parents. Rooted in a sublime beautiful city Pune the novel features Roshan Paranjape aka Cinnamon as its protagonist. How does Roshan gets Cinnamon nickname has an interesting anecdote to it. However, in school his classmates and students call him Lambu. To it he feels uncomfortable as his Maa and Baba are short. Right since the beginning, Cinnamon questions his parents about his existence and biological roots. Soon it is revealed that he is adopted. But the beauty is that neither the parents nor the boy cause melancholic drama about it. Adoption is seen as a great human gesture in the book, and with time it has been acknowledged by all characters.

Another interesting aspect of the novel is its cultural tour, be it Kolkata, Ratnapur, or Pune with its charming hustle-bustle – the novel looks replete in this aspect; nothing sounds shallow or hurried up. If you have ever been to Pune and experienced its diversified cuisines you may feel that it is a beautiful city to grow up.

Initial coverage of the book focuses on the nuisances of a school going teenage boy who loves history but hates maths. He makes fun of his teachers and tries to reason with parents with odd yet funny arguments. The story captures ambience of a home – how parental behavior can affect the overall development of a child. But as you read, it is evident that Cinnamon’s parents did everything to keep him happy and grounded.

It is slightly tough to believe that the boy is mature enough to think about his biological parents. He accepts the reality with silent tears – that’s amazing part of his character development. On his thirteenth birthday, he wishes to meet his biological parents. Baba and Maa had no option but to oblige him.

“Cinnamon had no clue where his biological parents were or the travails he would have to endure to see them again, but his mind was made up. He said to himself, ‘If I had one wish, it would be to meet my birth parents. Just once.’

Their sojourn and meet ups in Ratnapur forms the second part of the novel. It was fascinating as the first one. The author didn’t forget to capture the look and feel of the place and the people. The boy’s ephemeral reunion with his mother Aditi is emotionally moving. Her story of fate and loss and giving up her child is heartfelt.

The way Cinnamon grasps the jolts of reality is a thing to watch out in the novel. The author delivered bigger dilemmas and shocks in a subtle manner without causing any brouhaha or signs of exaggeration. The novel has brilliant sense of narration.   

If the one side of the novel is about finding your own people and accepting who you are, then well its another side sheds light on Usher syndrome, parenting, adopting and raising a child in a holistic ambience. Slightly offbeat and tragic, yet the story of Cinnamon will fill your heat with hope and ecstasy.

You can buy the book from Amazon and Kindle Store


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