Monday, 10 October 2011

If I Pretend I am Sorry!

If I Pretend I am Sorry! : Will You Pretend and Forgive Me?
By Prashant Sharma
Publisher: Srishti Publisher
Rs. 100

Prashant Sharma has a knack of surprising his readers. The element of surprise commences with the cover page of the book. What at first sight may seem to the unaccustomed eye as a teenage romance love guide will actually prove to be a thriller once the pages are slowly turned.
The story spins around the lives of three ruthless men who seek violence to achieve their private aspirations: some worth remembering while some worth questioning. The book which is tripartite in structure is neatly joined towards the end as the actions of each character enmesh the events which surround the others’ lives. The book really is a whirlwind ride that takes one into the very core of the Mumbai underworld and unfurls the ways in which it governs itself. 
His witty phrases and ability to construct mind boggling situations, charges this book with breath taking suspense and enormous thrill. Through love, deceit, bitter hatred and vengeance the characters construct the plot and the end leaves the reader spellbound as everything neatly falls into place. The overall experience of reading was nothing short of watching a blockbuster action packed movie unfold in front of my eyes! 

India Was One

India Was One
by An Indian
Rs. 393

Jai and Kaahi’s relationship captures the two neat divisions of India. The book “India was one” etches the plot which demonstrates how India is bisected into two halves: North and South. We as Indians are thoroughly aware of the categorizations that have always been a part of our history. Be it because of culture, cuisine or climate what we are all well versed with is the “northie” and “southie” divide existing in India. The North Indians have taken a considerably long time to warm up to idlies and dosas and the South Indians cannot understand the elation associated with khichdi. I was thus particularly drawn by this unique and powerful concept taken up by the anonymous author.
The book and its characters are what we as Indians can surely relate to, and gradually as the story progresses one witnesses how each of their lives gradually begin to demonstrate different aspects of an Indian and NRI’s socio cultural domain. But after reading the book one would perhaps wonder who the target reader must be? Because the people in India do not require a thorough translation of every minute Indian detail, is the target audience then NRIs or foreigners? Is it another book that wallows about the whole “discover India and its culture” context? Perhaps not. The whole point of the book remains in its metaphor of territorial division. The division in land is a reflection of the division in people’s mind and such divisions are not only present in India but also throughout the world! The book tries to portray snippets of glances from college canteen, youthful friendship, India vs. Pakistan cricket match, passionate love and marriage beautifully throughout the pages leaving the readers craving for more.

All in all the book boasts of its genuine and attractive story but the moot point of the whole book: the main story, the division of India, abruptly opens right towards the end. The readers, quite like Jai and Kaahi, are caught off guard by the suddenness of the development. The reader perhaps won’t mind a parallel narration of the gradual demise of India’s sovereignty as a change from the rich couple’s honeymooning across Europe.

The thought behind composing the book is indeed very noble but at times it seems like the agenda is bigger than what a single book can carry. There is enough desi tadka in it to make a spicy read and it raises an issue that we as Indians should pay more attention to before our next generation says “India was one”.

p.s check out the map to know some more about the India which the author is referring to