This novel traces the story of Neil and Gauri. Then there is also another couple comprising of Drishti and Somesh. Then there are various other friends called Tom, Jerry, Antriksha, Mehr, James, etc.
There is something in the plot about Drishti being allegedly kidnapped, and Neil being framed for it. Get a hint? No right? Neither did I when I read this synopsis on the back cover of the novel. However, I was optimistic that the novel will provide a clearer picture compared to the vague synopsis.
Aravind Parashar’s writing is good, though not extraordinarily brilliant. It is basic English language. One good thing is he doesn’t attempt to add fancy words and make his sentences sound like they have been framed using a thesaurus. His language is as simple as it can get. And so, the book is easy on the mind. It is neither too heavy nor too complex.
Writing style wise, Parashar tries to create an abstract pattern by using flashbacks and then coming back to the present. It works to an extent, but after a while, it appears too bollywood-ish.
As I mentioned earlier, the language of the book is simple. It will thus appeal to a larger audience and will be liked by college going students.
Parashar also succeeds in portraying the urban relationships with finesse. There is a wife who is a journalist and a husband who is a cop. While both of them are successful in their respective fields, their marital life is a big failure.
Then there is the strained relationship between Neil and Gauri. In both these cases, Parashar manages to convey the tension with minimal use of dialogues.
Unfortunately, there are too many negatives in this novel. Firstly and most importantly, the plot of the novel is extremely childish, immature and stupid. I mean, what does this group really intend to do with their lives?
The entire kidnapping angle is a sore thumb. Also, what kind of friends does Neil have? Let me tell you, this is not a cool group. If the writer was aiming at creating a friends group like “Dil Chahta hai”, “ZNMD”, etc, he fails miserably. There is zero chemistry between the friends.
Thirdly, the various incidents shown in the book – the entire pub sequence, the appearance of neil on tv, the entire Cuba sequence – they are all shabbily sketched, childish and unreal. They just don’t look convincing.
What happens therefore is that we feel totally disconnected. Where do such things happen? Who on earth stages abductions? Also, what kind of occupation do these people have? They just seem to be free all the time. And yet, they seem to have all the riches in the world.
Also, if you want to use cuss words, use them either entirely or refrain from using them. What is the point of writing just “C”? What is the point of it?
The biggest flaw was the indirect speech. This book hardly has dialogues. So much of the plot is in indirect speech. Dear writer, it works against you big time. Give us more conversations between 2 people. That is the only was your readers will connect to your book.
OVERALL, the novel is a strict one time read if you have no other plans on a long boring weekend. In any case, the title itself summarizes how the book and its plot is – “Messed up!” But then, all is fair in love!
P.S - I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.