From the cover, you would guess that Ravinder Singh belongs to that irreverent club of new age authors of Masala English Novels which have mushroomed after the unprecedented success of Chetan Bhagat in this genre, but in thinking that, you would be doing an injustice to the author. Let’s face it, Ravinder Singh is not a literary wizard, you will not find elegant phrases, vivid descriptions and emotional undercurrents here, neither will you find cuss words, racy scenes or over-dramatization, what hits you most about this book is the sheer honesty of the author and the straight forward, frankness with which the tale has been told.
While most first time Novelists tend to derive inspiration from real life stories, this one has been claimed by the author himself as his own story, and what is most refreshing about this book is that you don’t feel like you are reading a book, it’s so real that you feel you are sitting with a close friend on a balmy evening and hearing his love story. Coming to the story, it starts off slowly, where you are introduced to a host of characters and meanders aimlessly till our protagonist Ravin, who happens to be a geeky IT engineer looking for a bride receives an online interest from Khushi, a girl half the country away, and they start talking.
What follows is a beautiful day by day account of their burgeoning long distance romance, from late night telephone calls where they find things that connect them to each other, like when it is raining in both their cities to the deliberate postponement of serious marriage related discussions that may threaten to hamper their affinity for each other, to the adventure that their first date turns out to be, it’s a heart melting portrayal of “first love” and how it changes the life of our geeky IT engineer who jumps straight from the world of codes and systems into the “pehla nasha pehla khumaar” mode.
Ravinder Singh manages to connect you to the character Ravin at a deeply psychological level, so you feel happy when Ravin receives a lovely surprise, you feel excited when Ravin tries to talk naughty, you share his dilemma when his lady love asks him to give up his occasional drink, you feel nervous when Ravin is about to meet Khushi for the first time, you feel like you are in love, and that to my mind is where the brilliance of the book lies.
Many different characters keep coming and going, but the author doesen’t have ink to spare on any of them, his focus lies entirely on Ravin and Khushi. There are also needless details here and there of routine things that don’t add anything to the story, but you forgive the author and continue reading, waiting eagerly for the next development in Ravin and Khushi’s life. The last leg of the story turns extremely intense, and I would be revealing too much if I said anymore, but the ending gives you a jolt that stays with you long after you have finished reading the book.
The language is simple, sentences short and crisp. You can’t help but admire the author who has stayed true to his real life story; never for once indulging in fantasies but sharing each and every candid incident and conversation of his love story to the world. First time author Ravinder Singh has bared his soul in this moving tribute to love and he manages to tag you along in this roller coaster ride of emotions.
Go for it you are open to sensitive caring relationships, go for it if you are about to get married and want to believe in “love cum arranged” marriages, go for it if you just had a break up and want to believe in love again, go for it you are already in love and want to recall your initial days of courtship, others looking for a “fast entertaining read”, can give this one a miss.