Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Book Review : Our Impossible Love ( Durjoy Dutta )

Buy online HERE.

This one should have been labelled 'Our Inscrutable Love'. Or still better 'Our Improbable Story'. For, it is the kind of story that lacks conviction. In some ways, it is rather similar to a masala potboiler Hindi movie but sadly, it trivializes issues like rape and gay rights. Plus the love story between a student and a counselor (deemed as a failure by his own parents) is hardly happening. If anything, it is just too superficial except for a few stray chapters when the author makes you cry and laugh out simultaneously. Not because it is funny but just coz it is so cliched.

Why did I pick this one ?? Now, for the longest time I had been reading mostly mythology written by Indian authors, fiction by Jeffery Archer and heavy philosophical stuff by Murakami/Orhan Pamuk etc. Wanted something lighthearted for a change and this one came highly recommended. Just don't ask me who did it ! Plus I got it on Kindle when there was a good offer .So, now I can happily delete it as I am done. I hate to give away by books even when they are real crappy and so I have a shelf space issue at home. Just the reason why I have promised myself that I every time I buy a book, the next one will have to be an Kindle version.

Getting back to the story, the female lead Aisha is a seventeen year old who is five years late into getting her periods. She is obsessed about it. And when it does come, she creates a scene. Well, that is what the author would like us to believe. Sounds incredible , doesn't it ! But the story gets even more incredible as we are told that the mother suffers from a kidney disease which has left the family under financial strain and the father has to take up whatever transfers comes his way to make some extra money.

The male lead Danish starts out as a loser cannot even garner enough marks to pass his exams. And yet his brother is an IIT genius who has got the startup guys queuing up at the doorstep. Plus, he is real lucky with the girls.

And somewhere in between we are introduced to Sarthak, Aisha's brother who prefers to keep to himself. We later get to know that he is gay and has been planning secretly to get away to Poland just because they gays marriages are acceptable there.

But the saddest part of the book is when Aisha is raped on a date and the manner in which Sarthak gets bullied just because he is gay. While the characters in this book are from a posh Delhi school, the real issue that the author has tried to deal with is 'Campus rape'. There has been tremendous debate on this issue and as to what constitutes to consent of the girl. One of the lines uttered by Vibhor (the accused guy) rightly exposes the attitude of the perpetrators. "Usually girls are so drunk after just one drink", he says and this often used as a excuse for committing the crime.

But the second half of the book in which Danish helps Aisha to cope with the situation and leads her back to a normal life is well written and commendable. Plus the way in which Ankit, Danish's brother, pitches in is quite sweet. The idea of developing an App to help people help others is a good one though not very practical.

This book works in parts and I have a lingering doubt that Durjoy Dutta started writing this one with something good in mind. But the final outcome lacks the desired sensitivity and sensationalizes trivial stuff. Despite all his efforts, one would still accuse him of using sex to sell the book.

Would I recommend it ? Well, he is already quite popular with the youngsters given that his target audience seems to be in the age bracket of 16 to 25. Maybe an overdose of sex works just right for them.

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