Review: Alumni Of The Year by Tomson Robert

“Our choices define us, and we have to live by their consequences in the universe we make those choices.”

Tomson Robert is an excellent storyteller, the way he has portrayed Dave’s journey from workaholic to a content family man is just remarkable. The author’s style of writing is simple to its core. The story progresses in a language that is easy, straightforward, and uncomplicated.

The book starts with: In an alternate universe and was I hooked, I mean that’s the stuff that makes one wonder about what other interesting things they’ll come across in the book. The book revolves around David Thomas, who works in JW associates as a partner in Dubai. He was from a middle-class family but worked hard to get the job at JW and move to Dubai and then settled there with his better half Ann and 5-year old daughter Alex. He is an ambitious person and is working very hard to get his promotion. In the race to get the promotion, he hardly spends time with his family due to which his daughter became distant with him. He is so engrossed in his work and getting his promotion that he neglects his family, friends and even chose his work calls over talking to his dad. He has been a lifelong atheist and had no faith. He has a very demanding and shrewd boss. He struggles to juggle work and personal relations. Even when he was on vacation, he still worked and during his holidays in Goa, he discovered faith, and that’s when his ever-demanding boss called and asked him to cut short his vacation. With his newfound sense of direction, he stood up to his boss and got fired, the day he found his faith he lost his job, what luck.  After this, he went for his school reunion in Kochi and met his school best friends. He hadn’t kept in touch with them over a spat but since he found his faith, he tried to work things out and they welcomed him with open arms.

He was also nominated for Alumni of the year competition which he stepped down from because he understood that he couldn’t hold a grudge for something so little that happened over 18 years ago. The book was not very preachy and yet you can take any valuable lessons from it. You do not always have to run after success, do what feels right and give your best.  This book is closer to our realities. The title and the cover did full justice to the storyline where Dave is held by his chains (work,  promotion, hatred, competition) underwater. As he breaks down in front of his father, I could totally immerse in his pain all because that situation mirrored our lives.

In the end, I would recommend this book to everyone who wants a light read over a cup of coffee and want a take on corporate life of a person who struggled to maintain his grip over his work, family and his tryst with God.