A love story that highlights agony and longing
This novel by Tuheen A Sinha is a novel that appears to be promising from the beginning. The story is about two students one a Kashmiri Muslim, Zaira and a Hindu from Varanasi Vihaan, who fall in love. Eventually, Vihaan becomes the Defence Minister of the country and Zaira finds her father drifting towards secessionist ideology. Their fate clearly crossed. But the writer tries to skillfully craft a story where Vihaan despite resigning from the minister ship emerges a lovable Indian politician in the Valley. The backdrop of the narrative revolves around Kashmir, Cancun Mexico, Delhi and Bombay. Based on the current events and realistic anecdotes from the country in general and Kashmir per se as the framework, it’s a catchy relationship drama woven intricately and interspersed particularly with those events which have acted as a water shed in the unfolding of the Kashmiri imbroglio.
The hero of the book-Vihaan Shastri is endearing. While the heroine Zaira’s character is well etched out, it is worth noting that even though it has many shades, her character is both heartwarming and relatable. The author has been successful in bring out the pain that the two suffer when they are separated and then bringing them together again after all these years. Their chaotic love story has been brought out beautifully. All romance stories have misunderstandings, agony and longing, this novel has them in plenty.
The high point
The author seems to have a knack of writing about relationships. He has the ability to go deep into their complexity and dig out negativities, which in turn captivates the reader. The high point of the book as well as the author is that he is able to combine two of his obvious strengths- relationships and politics which make it an exciting read.
The not-so-high points
The author could have used his fertile imagination to depict the breathtaking beauty of Kashmir, even better, for example, to express the breaking of the dawn on the Dal Lake, or the detail descriptions of Cancun, Mexico. A writer should also have shown magnanimity with his characters, when in love a couple needs to grow and not dwell on negativities, in one such instance the lovers Zaira and Vihaan think how quickly they should rid themselves of Renu their common friend who has helped them.
What you get at the end of reading the book is a heady mix of thriller, tragedy, action, romance, drama, and suspense, and let me tell you the book will grip you till the end.