As Boys become men by Mukul Kumar

Book Name         - As Boys become men

Author                  - Mukul Kumar
  Publisher              - Rupa Publications

Number of Pages - 232

Publishing Year   - 2016

Edition                  - Paperback

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Rating : 4.0


Freedom, friends and fun. That’s how most of us remember our college years. But for those studying to get into the coveted Indian Civil Services, college life acquires an additional layer. As Boys Become Men revolves around three such boys, Mihir, Uday and Sandeep, who set out together to crack the Civil Services exam. Narrated by the thoughtful and intense Mihir, this book explores college life, friendship, romance, leaving home and adjusting to a new environment, and describes how negotiating the path between dharma and desire, love and lust, can be tricky.

A sparkling story of the bond between a boisterous trio, the book will take you on a journey of discovery, where boys become men, and students become civil servants. In the course the book also ends up telling us what not to do when writing the Civil Services exam. A slice-of-life tale with a ‘Mona Lisa’ flavour that offers fun and romance aplenty, this book also imparts philosophical truths that will help every young person out to discover life.

My Review

Lives of civil servants is a field that has not been reaped much in the literature world. As boys become men is a brimful account of the journey to the bureaucracy and thereafter. Lives of CS has always been topics of interest to the laymen. There has always been a curiosity to know how they study, how the course will be, how their lives with their friends will be, how difficult the journey would be ! There has been a wave of jealousy towards the ones who could pass through the peephole of exams and interview. But little was thought after about how they handle the pressure which accompanies the power. 

There were so many philosophical tete-a-tete moments between friends in the book. A lot of different ideas were instilled in the minds of the readers. But somewhere these conversations seemed forced. Nevertheless, it is good to see that author portrayed a different dimension of boys' lives other than the cliched ogling at girls, drinking and smoking. 

The book is an asset for the aspiring students. It is an entertainer for those who are looking for a story with substance. The pace of the story is slow. Don't read the book expecting hardcore fun. It is more of reality. The authenticity of the story and the events cannot be doubted since the author himself is a civil servant who studies in Kirori Mal College where the story revolves around. So I would like to view the book as a fictional adaptation of an autobiographical account.

Reviewed for the publisher

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy in exchange for a honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

About the author

Mukul Kumar is a civil servant belonging to the 1997 batch. An Indian Railway Traffic officer, he is presently working in the Ministry of Railways, New Delhi. He has studied humanities from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University. He also writes poetry in English. The anthology of his English poems titled The Irrepressible Echoes was published in 2012. He has also been awarded the Life Membership of the Poetry Society (India). As Boys Become Men marks his debut as a novelist.


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