16 November, 2013

#BookReview :: Because Every Raindrop... Is a Hope by Sankalp Kohli & Mansi Sharma

Caught in the turmoil of an Underrated Love and an Overrated Infatuation, Raj, a young boy with larger than life dreams, from a small town of Kanpur, is at the cross road of life, where every road ahead leads to nothing but a Dead-end.
Through the grueling course of circumstances, he is subjected to the bitter tests of life, where he fails to justify his one decision of parting ways with Mahek.
But, when Mahek flashes out of his life, leaving him all alone, the guilt of not been forgiven by her, ruins his soul; and that frustration leads him into seclusion, devoid of even his best buddies Rohan and Rahul.
Failed love, broken friendship, a hurt ego and lost soul Raj is doomed to darkness. With no ray of hope ahead, just when Raj is about to give up on life, he come across a note, written to him by his favorite professor, "Never give up Raj Because Every Raindrop is a Hope" which brings Raj face to face with his own self.
Why Love that makes Life beautiful, turns into Satan? Why friendship one fine day loses all its meaning? Why on the crowded roads of Mumbai city, Raj finds himself walking all alone? Will Raj challenge Life and fight back with the sword of Hope or will he take the easy way out by succumbing to the arduous tests of time.

Essentially the story of a modern generation youth, this book chronicles the journey of a guy called Raj. A son, a student, a friend, a lover – he plays a lot of roles in his life just like each and every one of us. And like us, he makes a few mistakes and makes a few dumb choices, faces heartbreak and falls down a number of times. Flitting between Shruti and Mahek, Raj’s confusion goes beyond the boundaries of just love. But the thing is whether he will be able to bounce back and get back on his feet or will he fall further into the pit of darkness. And what role will his friends, family and that one odd professor play in his life?

Is it only me or does the protagonist’s name Raj, make the DDLJ/ Mohabbatien tune ring in your mind too?

The good things about this book have to come first as there are quite a few.  The first thing that stands out most in this book is its format. Combining prose and poetry with witty chapter names, this book comes off different at the very first glance. As a hardcore book worm, I usually smell a book first, flip through the pages, smell it again and only then get to reading it. So, the chapter names did catch my eye while flipping through the pages, and then when I started, the Preface caught me off-guard. It’s a poem! Then there’s the fact that the characters are very much true to life. There’s often a Raj in you batch in graduation or a post graduation – a guy with great potential but falls through the cracks because of certain influences – girls, drugs, or the high of freedom. There’s also a Rohan, Rahul and Mahek, somewhere on the wings who we often take notice of and sometimes overlook. Situations are also that we can recognize – the fun in college, the ragging and sports. Overall, this book reflects what life is like out there for us. Yes, it is not all Yash Raj would have us believe – beautiful and easy where everything usually comes to a resolution almost on its own with beautiful locations and music in the background. Yes, things get difficult and ugly. To get back on the right track you need to do it for yourself with only a little help from the ‘extras’. Also, I did like the way the author set up the backdrop and setting of the novel. Mumbai has come to life through these pages.

Now let us move on to the not so rosy parts of the book. While I admit that the author did a good job of depicting a lot of issues that are faced by today’s generation, it felt a bit overwhelming at a few points. Focusing on one or two situations would have probably helped get a better message across. The narration could also do with a bit of work on it. But then the author is young and this is just his first book. So I think he has time in his favour and experiences yet to be gained…

Good Luck to Sankalp Kohli and Because Every Raindrop... Is a Hope brings me hope of reading better Indian YA fiction and Romance in the coming times.

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