I’m back again with another book review! The book on TBF : The Book Files today is : Riots Of Love (Mohabbat Ke Dange) by Shikha Kaul, published by The Book Paradise.
This book is a political thriller, based on the various communal tangles that marks the Indian political system. The story kicks off when a man called Avi Shandilya, walks into a police station to confess his crime of murdering the children of 4 important figures of the Indian Politics : Aatif Khan, a bollywood superstar; Saahitya Nath, a regressive Hindu leader; Andrew James, am outspoken TV news anchor and Jaswant Singh, a powerful candidate for the Punjab’s next CM elections.
Baffled and outraged, these 4 powerful people are rendered helpless and are forced to join forces to find out the truth behind the claims of the mad man. What could be the motive behind the actions of Avi Shandilya? Why did he target only those 4 people? What does he want to prove to them? To others? To himself?
Shikha Kaul‘s writing style is impeccable. That’s it. At times, it does feel like you are reading a screenplay instead of a novel and that for me is the USP of this book. The bold expression where she doesn’t hold back to condemn our political system, our biased media and the many crimes committed under the blanket of ‘patriotism’ and ‘secularism’ is applaudable. The characters are not only well defined but have the ability to make you hate or love them as soon as you meet them.
Candid and open, it’s divided into 4 parts : Now, Then, Back to present and Mohabbat Ke Dange. Each of these parts hold chapters that entertain exactly what they say and this is the one incident when dividing them into parts actually makes sense. The writing is engaging and vivid with lines such the ones listed below that just steal your heart away!
“An empty pocket is like a naked woman; an easy prey for blame game and mass attack.”
“Hum hain to tum ho. Hum nahin to tumhara koi wajood nahin. Angrez to paraye the. Tum to apne ho, Phir bhi?”
“Baksh deta hai khuda unko jinki Kismat kharab hoti hai. Wo hargiz nahin bakhshe jaayenge jinki neeyat kharab ho.”
“Ek makhi chai mein girl jaaye, yo chai phenk di jaati hai. Wahi makhi agar ghee mein gir jaaye to makhi phenk di jaati hai.”
Now do you see what I mean when I say ‘powerful dialogues’?
Apart from a couple of glitches here and there, the book was well edited. I usually don’t prefer to read so much hindi in an English book but this was an welcome exception. I loved the dialogues and little witty snippets thrown here and there I especially loved the character of ACP Girish Borkar; A man who takes no nonsense, regardless of whoever is standing in front of him and also sympathises with Avi because he knows that there must be more to the story that he can see.
Overall a 5/5 stars for this stunner! Can’t wait to read it it hindi kyun ki jo swaad hindi mein padhne se aayega wo swaad English ka sophistication level kha jaayega!
I was sent a review copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Until next time!