By Sapan Saxena
Review By Ila Garg
UNNS—The Captivation, a novel by Sapan Saxena, is published by Inspire India Publishers. The cover uses a white backdrop with a couple walking under an umbrella in a lonely street full of street lights, which are adding to the romance. However, the blue rose is kind of intriguing!! Overall, a very clean cover.
Brought up in the city of Nawabs, Lucknow, Sapan did B. Tech in Information & Technology from Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad. He started taking interest in writing on various spiritual and mythological subjects during his college days and his work found place in leading newspapers on many occasions. His profession is engineering but writing is his passion. He connects and finds links of modernization with mythology having keen interest in the same.
Sapan married in the year 2011 and is now the proud father of a toddler. A responsible father, a loving husband, a supportive brother and a caring son, Sapan generates time to write.
The blurb reads as, “Of course you know about the seven stages of love, but have you ever lived them? Atharva Rathod and Meher Qasim. Lovebirds since adolescence. Bonded by love, separated by circumstances. They part ways only to meet again. But this time, he is on a secret mission... Are they in control of their own destiny, or it’s their destiny which is making them dance to its tunes? Only time would answer, as Atharva and Meher unwillingly and unknowingly transcend the seven stages of love. A quintessential tale of love and romance marked beautifully by its own rustic old school charm.”
As it can be guessed from the blurb, it’s a love story. The two love birds – Atharva Rathod and Meher Qasim first met during the school. (Psst! I loved the names of both the protagonists.) So, during their school, the love started blossoming between them. Yes, it does sound typical, nothing unusual. So the starting felt a little dull to me. When the love birds were taking their flights, thriving in each other’s company, things took a turn. Meher’s parents came to know about their relationship and as a result, Meher broke up with Atharva. As their school came to an end, Meher moved on and left the country for Germany. However, Atharva remained stuck and missed Meher. You can find it almost like a Hindi masala movie (typical Bollywood stuff).
So the first half didn’t excite me much. Then I went back to the cover and decided to give it another try. Maybe the second half would be better!
And woah! The second half had a time leap. Now this is kind of common technique too, but the way the author used this made all the difference in the story. So after separating at the end of the school, the plot takes a fifteen years jump and the readers now see that Atharva, the hero has become an officer. And yes, it’s predictable that he soon moves to Germany for a mission. There he meets Meher and then, it all turns upside down with love turning to revenge.
The story moves in a flow and nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect. I found it quite engaging from the perspective of its narrative. The language is easy to comprehend. The use of the seven stages of love in the course of the story is interestingly done. However, some parts seem way too predictable marring the reader-interest.
How Atharva and Meher fell for each other, why Meher broke up, how it impacted Atharva, what happens when they 15 years after the break-up in Germany, how Meher sends Atharva off to the jail, how Atharva takes his revenge from her are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in UNNS—The Captivation.
Further, this 244 page book is good enough to expose the modern day relationships which are too impulsive and therefore, lack the roots of commitment. What makes it stands out is the second half where love turns into revenge. However, the characterization could have been better; it looks very stagnant. It lacks details. Also, a dash of humour could have been added. Overall, it’s a light read.