The year was 2001. I used to work as a Marketing Consultant, for ailing organizations severely in need of a revamp. I remember being approached by an organization with its branches in various Indian cities, literally pleading me to bring one of their sickest branches back on its feet. It was a risk; a grave risk. It was a risk, not only for my reputation as a consultant, but also for my ego. What if I fail? What if it is already beyond repair? What if salvaging is the only option left? And more importantly, what if I fail?
In order to counter that many risks glaring at me right in the face, I knew I had to take a few risks of my own; and take risks, I did. I went to that branch office, met each one of their staff members, fired every one of them and hired a brand new team- except a couple I thought I could use to the organization’s benefit. By the end of the first two months, the branch filed its best result ever with a clean profit margin of 250%. My risk had paid off.
The reason of my boring you with my accomplishment was not to boast of my accomplishments, but to emphasize the fact that not every risk pays off. Some do, some don’t.
At the onset, I would like to applaud Vaachakmitra (that’s the author’s pseudonym), for taking a huge risk by choosing an experiment like ‘The Multitudes of Ripples’ as his maiden act. Did the risk pay off? Let’s try and find out.
The reason I called ‘Multitudes of Ripples’ an ‘experiment’ is because that is what it is, and at one too many levels at that. The book is completely autobiographical, where the writer takes the readers through his entire life journey, right from the childhood to the later years as adult. Why then, did he decide to set it in a fantastical city called Mohmayi, is beyond my comprehension.
The narrative, I found to be unnecessary stretched and tedious. To cite an example, I do not see any need to go into a detailed, parenthetical explanation every so often. It only ends up making the read ‘difficult’ for the reader. I wonder what prompted the writer to go into that much of ‘telling’! Was it because he wasn’t sure of his writing being good enough to be easily understood, or he had doubts about the ability of the readers to make sense of tough reads like this one? Either way, I would hold the publisher responsible for this. It should have been the job of the editor, to take off all those unwarranted peripherals and replace those with easier, shorter words. The editor clearly hasn’t done his job, as has not the proofreader. The grammatical errors and typos are abounding throughout the book. By the way, is there a reason for 'Multitudes'? Multitude is plural in itself; why add extra 's' to it?
I’d say ‘The Multitudes of Ripples’ could have been a path-breaking book, but the monotonous, soporific narrative ended up making it an achievement-to-finish-it kind of read.
I give the book, 3 out of 5 stars.