About the author:
Ravindra Shukla is a graduate of IIT-Bombay. He works for IBM in emerging technology and business analytics in IT software technology. His professional experience includes working with consulting firms – PWC and IBM in USA for 15+ years. He is a member of the Film Writers Association, Mumbai. His interest includes – writing fiction, literature and movie scripts apart from sports, movie and travelling across the globe.
Cover and blurb:
A cover with three shadows does not give away anything about the story, and reading the blurb, I can only assume it’s the silhouette of the three protagonists.
My thoughts on the book:
There are some books that you don’t know whether to like or to unlike. It has a balance between the good things and the not so good. So it depends on how the story moves you, and how it is put across that you decide. This book is part of that category I feel.
Do the characters appeal to me? Yes and no. To start with, the main characters are restricted to three. So that’s good. However, who they are in the end, how deep their characters go, still remains mostly a mystery. I’m not moved by their actions. If Richita and Rahul are in love, their conversations do not indicate it. And for most part, the alternating first person and third person narrations confuse me as to what part is by whom. One minute we’re seeing the story from Rahul’s eyes, then right into the author’s eyes as he shows us Richita’s world.
Is the plot the same-old boring love story? No. Definitely not… both Richita and Rahul realize they are in love but society and dreams make their journey drift apart. The attitude of society, the reservations toward love marriage, parental pressure, corruption, friendship, love, and politics etc.… the story has a bit of everything. It gave the story a little essence, but with so much thrown into the works, it also added to the confusion.
Things I didn’t like at all… I feel the major bone of contention, as I’ve mentioned earlier, is the alternating first and third person narrations. Another is that the parts in the US felt off, I couldn’t connect with them at all. A sense of magic felt lacking in the book, possibly because of the length, and the slow start. Some parts like the molestation attempt at the beginning felt unnecessary. I realize it was probably done to show a strong character to Richita, but the part didn’t work out. The guy pushes her into a bathroom, and corners her, yet she finds a bottle of red chilli powder conveniently there on a table? That’s a little over the top masala for my liking. And editing left a lot to be desired as well.
Does the book have quality? Yes. It does, in bits and pieces. You may have to hunt for it since it might be lost on you with the uneven pace of the book. But it’s not a total bore. It has a promising plot, but the execution falls on its face. It feels like the author has tried to express a lot of different points through the book, but that has brought the overall feel down. Think before you buy, I’d say.
Title: A Maverick Heart: Between Love and Life
Author: Ravindra Shukla
Publishers: Frog Books
Price: INR. 195
(Sept 9th, 2013)