About the author:
Faraaz Kazi is an Indian author, who has won many awards for his debut fiction including the 2013 National Debut Youth Fiction Award and the YCOF National Excellence award in Creative Writing.
My thoughts on the book:
There is no shortage of books or authors in the romance genre when it comes to Indian fiction, so I feel to attempt a romance genre novel, it is both easy and difficult… easy because you are sure to get some reader base atleast, and difficult because you have competition in some upcoming, and some already bestseller authors. So what distinguishes Faraaz Kazi from his competition?
The plus point for me in his writing is that he brings back what is not there in so many love stories… he brings out the innocence and emotions that are experienced when we first fall in love. I was taken back to my school days through his writing, and it was not only because the setting for the novel is in those school days, but also because my first crush was in those days. And for a story to transport me back through words to those days felt just right.
The story is about young love, the love at first sight kind, where the boy Rahul falls in love with his junior, the shy, hard working and very smart Seema. He realizes later that she has affections for him as well, and their friends begin to call them as “a couple”. The story then goes on to their story, their meetings, how he woos her, how she is still that shy, introvert girl who has protective parents (at that age, it is very understandable, though the boy Rahul does not understand it) and how misunderstandings take them their separate ways.
What feels right in the story is the realism. He doesn’t make it anything other than it is, a young love story with all the innocence of childhood. You don’t have miraculous events or mushy dialogues. There is that wit and slight humor of school teasing, or those cheesy dialogues in the washrooms. There is that fear of parents finding about their relationship. And those little fights, and interactions that are cute. It is a tried and retried theme but given a fresh look. His narration is simple and enough to touch the heart. The nostalgia, for the boy Rahul who is in Pennsylvania to go back to the school days and narrate that to us, that was also quite nicely done.
What I felt was overcooked was the detailed school life, for e.g. the debate competition or quiz or cricket matches. Whereas they do form an important part of school life, too much detail seems to have gone into this subplot, and I skipped over that. It has been edited nicely, but still could be better.
I liked the read, and it flowed smoothly. I’m sure fans of the romance genre would enjoy it even more. A nice debut, and I expect to see even nicer novels from him soon.
Title: Truly, Madly, Deeply
Author: Faraaz Kazi
Publishers: Mahaveer Publishers
Price: INR. 150
(Aug 3rd, 2013)