Review in three words – Bollywood mixed tape. If you know what I mean. Bits that could easily belong to any of the old Bollywood movies. Hero meets heroine, there is love, there is a villain, but only twist, there is no happy ending. That twist can be penned as the only saving grace for this book,that too, if you forget for an instance that it is loosely based on the infamous Nirbhaya case that shook Delhi.
The author seems to be answering a question paper that is asking about the social evils that presently grip our nation- India. Like in a good answer script everything has to be methodical and point wise, same seems to be happening in the book, only distinction being that it is chapter wise, Chapter 1 can be Female empowerment, Chapter 2 Illegal activities in DU politics Chapter 3 Abolishment of the Quota system, Chapter 4 Racism within country Chapter 5 Rape capital of the country- Delhi. He could have made these bullet points on a sheet of paper, put a full stop after it, and that would have saved the readers their invaluable time, energy and effort.
The characters have been placed in a 2014 book but can easily be associated to a classical Bollywood movie from the long gone era. When you read Rupali (the lead lady, a girl with character portrayal from 1950s) begins to sing and hum.. you almost expect a song to break in, and obviously some dancing around the trees, in this case a Tulsi plant. Title itself is so catchy that it reminds me of an old Bollywood song, for some odd reason ‘Tere mere sapne ab ek rang hain’ (I don’t mind putting a Hindi line in this review because this entire book is full of Hindi sentences , book might as well have been written in Hindi).
The author himself seems to not be feeling the love while penning the romance between the characters. It’s an easily forgettable love story. Love story starts a minute too late and ends hours too early. Almost like he reached a certain word limit and had to wrap up in the end, which by the way is good because the last few chapters help increase the pace of reading.
Too many Bollywood moments coupled together for instance ‘awkwardness of coming close of two bodies because of a jerk’ It’s just too many clichés following many more clichés and needless to say followed by more clichés. The author lacks imagination to an extent that his description of a villain is a direct rip off from Bollywood characters ‘A huge red tikka ran down his wheatish forehead..blah blah….earring in his right ear’ to describe a rapist.
But all this being said, it is a populist book, which may have mass appeal. It is correctly classified as a ‘Metro Read’, cheaply priced, so that people may pick it up en route home to kill time on metro, train or bus, without thinking twice. It may also appeal to a certain kind of audience which enjoys such genre.
However, things that set it apart are that a girl is the hero of the book, and brings to light the social issues that are so widespread, that though the solution lurks within each one of us, no one is doing enough about it. The lead lady despite her oddities has taken an independent stand to fight the issues and not just let them die.
All in all, this book is not a collector’s item, and is certainly not fit for my library.
TBOR Rating 2/5
Your utterly disappointed faffer,
P.S. I appreciate the effort that must have gone in writing the book.