About the Book:
Name of the book: A Maverick Heart: Between Love and Life
Author: Ravindra Shukla
Publisher: Frog Books
Price: INR 195
Ravindra Shukla is an IIT Bombay graduate and an experienced professional in the emerging technology and business analytics in IT software technology. He is also a member of Film Writers Association, Mumbai. Writing fiction, literature, movie scripts are his interests apart from sports, movies and travelling across the globe.
About the cover and back cover:
The cover showcases the shadows of 3 people, presumably the three protagonists of the story standing at crossroads. It is of moderate appeal; I felt that it conveyed the theme pretty well. The back cover is interesting with an insight into the story that promises a story of love and friendship. The entire co-relation to the scientific principle of Resonance is what catches the attention in the first place.
The story is about 3 people- Rahul, Rhichita and Neerav who come together during their college days and become friends. Rahul is a very steadfast and unorthodox person who sticks to what he thinks is right even if the whole world turns against him. Rhichita is an outgoing, sports loving girl who thinks the world of her parents and tries her best to live up to their expectations. A misfortune incident makes her wary about guys in general and she becomes withdrawn. Neerav is Rahul's best friend and a fun loving person with every quality that takes to make a leader.
Rahul finds Rhichita's soul to be the one with which his own being resonated and unaware of all the factors that might make or break their relationship in future, they fall in love. The groom-hunting started by Rhichita's parents meanwhile force the couple to see the real side of things and words like 'security' and 'future' was impressed with them forcefully. But situations have a tendency to fly out of hand in least expected ways and that's what became a wall between Rhichita and Rahul.
Rahul's increased interest in social work, his disregard towards his course demands unbalances things in unimaginable ways. Family pressure from Rhichita's side just makes things worse.
And then they are forced to choose- love or life. The story then takes on about their individual struggles- the problems, the success stories and the final question of whether their hearts would ever come together again.
My views on the story:
The preview from the back-cover was what interested me in the first place. Defining the bond between two people through a scientific concept of resonance felt new and interesting.
The story however was a disappointment. The multiple narrations in 1st Person and 3rd person wasn’t carried off properly which made the reading process tedious. The writing style of the author was just average which in addition to the bad editing made things even worse. Question marks after random sentences are very confusing and it is recommended to make the writing style reflect the difference in the way we talk and the way we interpret that in writing.
The characters aren’t built properly- at the end of the story, you are still trying to place what kind of a person Rahul was or Rhichita was apart from being hugely confused.
The chemistry between them was a let down; I can't place a single conversation or incident between them that felt worth remembering.
After the initial days at college which had Rahul and Rhichita mostly at the centre, everyone seemed to drift off, which is perfectly natural but after that you don’t get to see how their lives were still connected. And you don’t see the third protagonist from the start except in the background. On the contrary to being one of the central ties to the story, he was something of a thread that popped up sometimes in between making spectacular knots.
The only good thing about the story was the realistic approach towards the Indian society. The reservations a girl has before plunging into something like a love marriage was shown well. The pressure to get settled from parents, the doubts about finding love in marriage are all shown aptly. The corruption side, the big shots trying to pull down the attempts towards a better country was also written well.
Rahul and his social work also was the good face of the A story which could have been impressive had it not been brimming with unnecessary details of unnecessary events. His character was bombarded with everything from intelligence to sports, social work, research, politics and the result was a rather feeble and vague character.
The thing with the story I felt was that it tried being too many things at the same time. It tried to be a love story, the struggle lore of the three protagonists, the unending saga of friendship and ties but ended up being individual events with a vague co-relation.
The pace of the story was erratic owning to uninteresting detailed events as mentioned above. It picked up towards the end; it would have been better if the same pace was maintained throughout.
Overall I rate this book 3/10.