Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rab Rakha - Book Review

Rab Rakha
By Karnika Gupta
Review By Ila Garg

Rab Rakha, a novel by the debutant writer Karnika Gupta, is published by Author’s Empire Publication. The cover is beautiful, pleasant to the eyes and it thoroughly represents romance. However, I didn’t find it much appealing after reading the book. The title is direct and attracts the readers.  

Graduated from Delhi University with a degree in Philosophy Honors, Karnika Gupta enjoys dancing and listening to violin and Arabic music as much as writing and aspires to learn Spanish in future. Rab Rakha marks her literary debut.

The blurb reads as, “He is charming, so very charming - Rab. He is a magician like Pied Piper; nobody knows where he lives, for he has his own world. His feelings are pure; his tears are like pearls in the sea. He is never alone yet he's lonely. He has a heart of gold, but he speaks the truth. He wanders alone on the road; his shadow is his best friend. He's searching for something and he's not aware of it!

She is beautiful, so very beautiful - Rakha. She lives in her dreams; she is a queen of hearts. She is a storyteller; she lives in a castle of her own. Her words are magnetic; her world is imaginary. She's a selfless bird who wishes to fly. Her heart is as delicate as the petals of a daisy; she is her God's child. She's waiting for someone and she's aware of it....!

He is a fish of his ocean; she is a bird of her sky.

Can a fish and a bird fall in love?

They did and they are in love, but how do they meet?
Rab Rakha is a soul-to-soul conversation between the bird and the fish. Are you ready to explore the world of love unknown to both of them?”

Rab Rakha, revolves around a couple truly, deeply, madly in love. Rab and Rakha adore each other on a devotional level. Their love surpasses it all and rises above the ordinary. They are intoxicated by each other’s presence. Unlike other romantic fictions, Karnika’s book take us on a roller coaster of emotions where we experience a whirlwind of romance. This love saga is not taken forth in form of dialogues but the authoress has given way to a new style of storytelling.

The story moves in a blog post kind of format and both the characters strive to pour their hearts out in turns. Though the element of love was profound in the book, yet the readers might feel it to be far-fetched as it is risen to a surrealistic platform. It fails to sound real at times, disconnecting the readers.

Their friend Meher is a great listener but Karnika could have given her more space in the book. The story is narrated well, however it’s the editing that left me disappointed. As a reader and a reviewer, I was unable to comprehend several events due to the raw writing.

The ease of their love story and the way Rab and Rakha connected to each other quite instantly, the instrumental role that Meher played in their love tale, and how they acted as each other’s solace are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in Rab Rakha. Another reason that would keep you glued to this book would be the beauty with which Karnika has woven this love saga.

Further, this 186 page book is well written and moves beyond the regular romance novels. It rises above the real, and enters in a surreal domain – something that makes it stand out. It’s a light read and I could have easily finished reading it in less than 2 hours if I wasn’t so busy with my other projects. At some points it becomes dragging, though, especially for those who do not enjoy romance fictions much as it offers an overdose of romance.

‘Yay’ Factors: The story line and the characters.

‘Nay’ Factors: The fact that it was an unedited script!

My Verdict: To find out whether Rab and Rakha unite in the end or not, how they managed to be perfect for each other, how they can be considered epitomes of romance, what role Meher played in bringing them together, what happened to them and their love story in the end; you will have to read the novel, Rab Rakha.

“RabRakha is one word, one life, one breath, one world. Rab will always be alone without Rakha.”

Ratings: 3.5/5      

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Manan - Book Review

By Mohit Parikh
Review By Ila Garg 

Mohit Parikh’s ‘Manan’ has been published by Harper Collins. So one can easily trust this book as a quality product, both in terms of printing as well as paper quality. The cover design fits aptly in the storyline. It is simple and not distracting. Also, the illustrations inside add to the brownie points of the book. The blurb too is precise and serves well to arouse readers’ interest.
The blurb reads as, “He closes his eyes and finds today’s date floating towards him. Shimmering in the darkness, swivelling – like the text on the Windows 95 screensaver. It seeps in through his forehead and gets absorbed. 23-04-98 is now a part of him. Today’s date, a Saturday, when the first sign of what he so eagerly awaited has appeared…

It is the summer of 1998 in a sleepy Indian town that is jut awakening to the age of information, and young Manan has acquired his first official sign of puberty. The world around him, though, refuses to understand the magnitude of the moment. Instead, it teases him by offering all sorts of temptations, posing all sorts of quandaries. And it doesn't help that his friends are taller and larger than him, that his parents fight all the time that his sister no longer has time for him that the love of his life barely knows that he exists.

With an earnest voice that is colourfully candid about middle-class India and the tyranny of family relationships, authority figures and peer pressure, Manan is a tragicomedy of growing pains and the triumphs of a stoic heart.

As I began my reading journey, the book seemed interesting. It held me for a while as I tried moving along with the protagonist, a guy named Manan. He is a class tenth student and looks way younger than his friends and that's because he hasn't hit puberty yet. He describes how he was constantly mocked at by others and things like that. He hates the fact that his friends are taller, hairier and mature than he is, but on finding the first official sign of puberty, he knows that soon he will be able to understand all that. He sees the world in a different way and most of the time is lost in his imagination. He sees the world through his own vision which is way different from others.

Further, he has a crush on a girl named Hriya and has an elder sister, with whom he is very close and they often play, fight, pull each others' legs etc. like every other brother-sister duo. He is often found on the terrace of his house where he spend hours staring at the sky, lost in thoughts about Hriya.

By the time I reached the middle of this book, my heart was hopeful. ‘Manan’ thus gives hope. A greater hope to the lovers of written word. At some points, it does get dragging but the author has managed to overshadow the flaws. It’s a blend of humour, pain, feeling of loneliness, weird moments, jokes, and pure fun.
The language is seemingly simple, making the book a light read for regular readers. However, the book tends to lose its flow on and off. It gets a bit too slow at times and thus boring and often monotonous. A lot of incidents could easily be chopped off from the book to maintain the readers’ interest.

This 200 page book, ‘Manan’ by Mohit Parikh, belongs to a very different genre. An adolescent is searching for his identity and nothing more is much talked about. I liked the climax as we see Manan finally taking a stand for himself. He gets assertive and voices his opinions.

I must say the author has a good grip on language and has written an intelligent piece of writing. The second half was more interesting. The author has marvelously woven a brilliant climax into the story that will keep the readers glued till the very end.

Best wishes to the author for future endeavours.  

Ratings: 3/5

This (Unbiased) book review is a part of "Indiblogger and Harper Collins Get Published Opportunity".