Book Review – Me No Pause, Me Play By Manoj Kumar Sharma, Is being featured at The Literature Today Magazine Vol 2, Issue 4

Women’s issues are probably the most sensitive aspect of the world we live in, which is majorly discussed by women writers till date. There are very few writers from the male fraternity who have treated the same issues with the same sensitivity and compassion and see the world from the eyes of a woman. But Manoj Kumar Sharma, in his second book, “Me No Pause, Me Play” discusses one of the significant turning points in a woman’s life and closely tries to understand the transition she goes through in this time.

While for many readers, the book is developed in the basic framework of a story that unfolds the events of the lives of characters who stand at the crossroads of a different age group, the underlying meaning of the plotline is far more stronger than the surface meaning. In that sense, the book becomes a recommended reading for people of different age groups.

Me No Pause, Me Play” explores the lives of characters in their middle ages who are looking forward to the second innings in their lives but want to live life with the same thrills they had experienced as teenagers. Like any ordinary people, they face the different challenges that life has thrown upon them in their journey so far, but the stage at which they stand shows that no matter what age group one may enter into or what phase of life one faces, one will always need equal care and attention from their families and from their better halves.

Sharma explores the beauty of relationships through the characters of Rajat and Dolly and focuses on the sensitive aspect of the life of a woman through Dolly’s character. Jasmona’s character comes as a striking contrast to Dolly’s character, who chooses to live life on her own terms and is courageous enough to handle all that comes along with it.

The beauty of “Me No Pause, Me Play” lies in exploring life and its situations in a phase that does not find much mention in literary writing. In his book of about 100 pages, the author explores the central women’s issues with a straightforward approach and precision of articulation through different narrative forms.

These include going back into the past, showing the present-day reality, and predicting the future. Through the book, Sharma also explores different sides of life, which revolve around giving importance to the right things. Through Rajat’s character, he shows the person who is caught up in the web of materialism, drive for growth, love for professional life, and the inconsideration of any other human bond, which sours his relationships with all members of his family, which leads to his eventual out casting.

 This could be the story of any person who is caught in worldly temptations and forgets that life’s real beauty is in treasuring moments with the people who care about one another. This gives a universal message, but the manner in which it is conveyed is not only interesting but also agreed upon by readers without any second thought.

Me No Pause, Me Play” also explores Manoj Kumar Sharma’s artistic genius in fiction writing after his debut novel, “Mirrro.” While “Mirrro” is an exploration of life in the first person narrative through the eyes of a man, the second book is more from the perspective of a woman through the eyes of a third person who narrates the tale and leaves it to the readers’ judgement to understand and decipher the underlying meanings of the book.

This is what differentiates the former book from the latter. Another differentiating factor is the characters that the author builds. While “Mirrro” has characters who are young, hot-blooded, passionate, and on the road to learning, “Me No Pause, Me Play” has characters that are mature, well aware of their circumstances but still learning about life even on the stage when they are set to become grandparents.

“Me No Pause, Me Play” also serves to spread awareness among the readers about the depth of the issue that is in question and resonates throughout the book. It is interesting to note how creatively the author has played with the words in the title to make sense a convey a meaning which is full of positivity and hope for the people going through those circumstances.

The book is also defined by the speed at which the narrative picks up and unravels in the plot, and through different techniques, the author covers a major chunk of the lives of the characters in a few words. This shows the artistic development in the style of Sharma, which is strikingly different from Mirrro where the narrative is spread at a longer length. “Me No Pause, Me Play” by Manoj Kumar Sharma is recommended to all readers, whether men or women of all age groups.

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