By Pamela Sinha Mathur Grade A+
“The same commuter who picks a fight with the stranger next to him for invading his personal space would cheer along with that very stranger on hearing the news that Sachin Tendulkar has scored a century.”
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from a book titled, ‘Of Love and Lovers.’ Was it going to be a mushy-mushy kind of book? Was it going to be a tale about love, desire, obsession, hurt and all that which usually accompanies fairy tales in urban settings?
The blurb says:
“A rocky relationship with an NRI coupled with a tragic-personal loss has made Samantha somewhat cynical in the matters of the heart.”
Shipra and Vikas are aware of the consequences of their love. Will their relationship stand the test of time?
Aditya has to choose between his love and his family’s expectations of him. Is he capable of making the right choice?
Spanning across Toronto and Mumbai, the lives of these four intersect dramatically when Samantha comes to India on an exchange program.”
So, I gathered that the story was going to be narrated from woman’s point of view, in love with a NRI. But, how original was the story going to be? In spite of the theme being the age old issue of love and its trials, I found that as I waded through the book and the emotions of the protagonist Samantha, there was indeed a fresh appeal to the tale.
With a woman of foreign origin narrating her experiences in India, in the country where her very own sister dies a mysterious death, in a nation that is still victim to caste, community hatred and prejudices, in a place where love blooms despite all the negative undercurrents – the author has a refreshing tale to tell.
The portrayal of the city of Mumbai, the descriptions of rituals observed, relationships, all have been aptly described by the author. In fact, in some ways, Samantha acts as a spokesperson to the entire world for India and Indian culture.
The blog posts that Samantha presents online is a great way of making her heart and mind lighter and also enabling the world know the real facts and of course, her feelings. The blog posting is an instrument used well in the tale by the author. Especially at a time when blogging has become not just a habit but a ritual in itself performed by thousands of people all over the world. The blog in the novel is where the heart of the story truly lies!
The part where the matron Mrs. Singh gifts Samantha a farewell gift before she leaves for Canada is truly touching – One of the innumerable sections of the novel that I liked a lot.
The trials and tribulations of the young couple, Shipra and Vikas in the novel are also written realistically.
Writing any more would reveal too much of the novel to the readers. This novel is best read without any introduction. Of course, on a personal note, I did feel that the title of the novel is misleading. The title hides the real essence of the novel. But then, the cover does play a distinct role in marketing a book.
‘Of Love and Lovers’ is a simple tale, reflecting the culture, traditions and the way of life in Indian society – the pros and cons told objectively and exceptionally well in a simple yet engaging manner in a modern urban scenario spanning two nations.
So, does true love win in the end? Or, does it die an early cruel death?
That’s for you to discover!