Before I can really get into the review, let me tell you - "This book has a potential to become a movie very soon". So, before it becomes a movie and gets compressed losing all the greatness it has in the paper form, read the book. Also, let me state it: I really do not want to get into the story or part of the story to reveal bits and pieces of it. So, my review is mostly from the aspects of the book and why you should read it.
Recently, my kid had a story telling competition at school and the way I had written the first line for her to tell is "Knowledge and presence of mind are power supreme." 'Pinto has an idea' closely matches this line. It narrates the story of an inquisitive Rajat whose nick name is Pinto and his always unquenched thirst for knowledge, to come up with something new, aims to reach people, and the struggles that he had to undergo at many places including his love life. Not sure why they call it usually love chemistry, but this book is a real chemistry mixing science, love and many other stuff.
In India, many of us (or most of us) really excel in theory, and that is because of the fact that our education system gives importance to how much you can memorize and not how much you can practically apply what you learnt. Pinto is different. He always has an idea, excels in studies from school to IIT to MIT, and then throws away everything to invent practical solutions to everyday problems that the society faces. His love Lavanya truly acts as a catalyst to Pinto to do this and more - solve the common problems that are faced by common people (the word 'common' present twice in this one sentence is not oversight). The author has brought out a beautiful point - for anyone having intellect and motivation, nothing is impossible. I am not sure if part of this book represents his own story, but Rajeev Saxena seems to have powerful imagination to bring out so many scientific stuff in a book like this that any non-science person can also easily catch and understand. The choice of characters are very good.
Simplicity is the foremost plus point of this book. Especially, when you are narrating a story of a person that has its roots from a village environment, it ought to be simpler, if not simplest. Secondly, in my opinion, as a reader reads through a book, it must make the reader forget where he is present and change his imagination and the associated environment the same as the one that he is reading. Rajeev has done a great job on both. The language is classic and that increases your pace. And, he brings Pinto right on your eyes as your read, as well the environment that he is in at various points of time whether it is village or city, the Mumbai floods, everything. That gives this novel the liveliness that any novel must have. And, if these reasons are not enough, let me tell you this secret. This book will mostly bring back your own memories as your read the first half.
The book does get little dragging in the middle and towards the end, but the interest to complete the book never goes down. I am reproducing these lines from the book because these lines will tell anyone the essence of this book and Pinto, and not surprisingly, these are the everyday questions in our mind about our own country: "Why were a country's people left so ignorant of their real needs? Why were people so poor? And, why were their cunning leaders allowed to benefit from those so-called shortcomings? And why were people so timid that they didn't put up a fight against those leaders who had been fooling them for three-quarters of a century?" I don't think anything else is needed to invite you to read this gem from Rajeev.
Go, buy and read it. Sure, you will enjoy this one!