Review: A Maverick Heart by Ravinder Shukla

November 5, 2013

Author: Ravindra Shukla
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing
Year: 2012
ISBN: 9789382473008
Rating: ★½☆☆☆
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The book is inspired by actual events in the life of three youth moving across IIT, India, USA and beyond. But readers beware – this might just be a disappointment.

A Maverick Heart: Between Love and Life, is Ravindra Shukla’s first endeavor at writing books. AMH promises to be a matured story, which is why I picked it up. But 50 pages later, one realizes that it’s written keeping in mind that our parents are going to read it and hence only the rosy picture is shown. Everything is censored and in an effort to quarantine the use of extreme language, the emotional connect is lost.

Rahul is a guy studying at IIT Powai. He sleeps for 9 hours straight daily. Rahul is ‘Howard Roarkish’ (read whimsical). Some of his whims include rejecting an award, a Mathematics equivalent to the Noble prize (sic) for no apparent reason.

Richita is the most beautiful girl in town, but not much known in college circles. The story begins when these guys are in their 3rd year, and I wonder how a good looking girl can stay incognito for that long in an engineering college.

Then there is our cool guy Neerav. His coolness quotient is that he drags Mr. Howard Roark out of lectures, which apparently is quite the ‘in-thing’ to do in IITs.

Rahul falls in love with Richita. She reciprocates, and then we are on Mumbai-Darshan dates and frequent lake visits because, you know, that’s how love happens in IIT Powai.

After college Richita is forced to marry an NRI guy, succumbing to family pressure. For the next hundred pages Rahul is lost in oblivion and it’s only about Richita’s marital issues. The NRI guy belongs to the “throw-chutney-on-shoe-to-know-the-price” fraternity. Corporate pressure, one steamy sequence with colleague and few office politics gimmicks later, he loses his job. Now he is that drunkard shouting at the lady in public and doubting her commitment for every odd reason, divorce looms large. You can watch daily soaps on any popular Hindi channel to get details about the desi ailing marriage. If you think the drama ends here, then you’re wrong – “picture abhi baaki hai”!

It’s surprising how a book can use hackneyed terms like ‘frequency matching’ & ‘resonance’ to suggest love compatibility. Geeky similes such as using Benzene structure and 4200 volts etc. to describe romance, litter the book, and then the author expects a welcoming response from the reader? It’s even more surprising to see how the concept of Individualism that was depicted in the Fountainhead (by Ayn Rand) can be interpreted in such a colorless manner and end up being pure poppycock. It’s hard to imagine how best friends and lovers can have such insipid conversations and crack pedestrian one-liners when they are together.

Last but not the least; it’s surprising how a book that has passed through the hands of a publisher (and therefore, I assume, an editor) can have a myriad of spelling errors. Please note I am not even getting started on the grammar. Final verdict? Read at your own risk.

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