By Pankaj Giri and Apoorv Wanikar. Grade: B
Friendship, Love and Killer Escapades (FLAKE) is a captivating story, primarily revolving around four protagonists pursuing engineering courses in a run-of-the-mill institute in Bangalore. The story encompasses a unique, intriguing, realistic love plot between Purvesh and Richa, numerous escapades, and thrilling adventures. Throughout the four-year roller-coaster, the academic and personal fortunes of the chief personas fluctuates à la the great Indian stock market! What impact will the inscrutable character, Anand, have in the lives of Prakash and the other protagonists? Will Purvesh and Richa succeed in sustaining their relationship over time? Will Prakash be able to transcend the stage of infatuation and eventually fall in love? What predicaments will Prakash and friends encounter in the academic journey? Read more to find out. Ready, FLAKE, Go!
The story takes off with one of the protagonists Prakash waking up from a bad dream. He finds his roommates peering at him wide-eyed and realizes that he has just had a bad dream. It is Prakash’s first year of college and he can’t help but feel exhilarated. He and his friends, Purvesh, Aakash, Abhimanyu and Anand are glad to be finally out from under their parents’ thumbs, and ready to live their lives as the free adults they are.
From this point the story actually kick starts: It is an ordinary story of what happens in college life. Take a couple of strong-headed aspiring engineers who feel on top of the world owing to the fact that they are college students now. Add the highs and lows experienced by each of them in those four years at RIP College of Engineering, and you have FLAKE. It also tells you about how much they learn from their impulsive decisions, the lessons friendship teaches them and how love and infatuation dominate their hearts, only confusing them further. It is the story of almost every other person out there.
Pankaj Giri and Apoorv Wanikar have done a decent job with their debut novel. Their choice of story is simple and it will surely reach out to the audience. The writing style is a little complicated and not as easy to comprehend, but the major drawback is that the authors have used a heavy vocabulary which would become a hurdle for a lot of readers. They would have to resort to looking up unfamiliar words in their dictionaries which would eventually make things tedious. The first half of the story involves a dozen characters and different names keep popping up every now and then; it might become difficult to keep track of all of them, but fortunately during the entire second half of the novel, only a handful of characters presume their roles and the confusion subsides. The entire novel carries on at a rather slow pace and at some point the reader would want to flip through the pages and skip to the very end. Pankaj and Apoorv have put together an enjoyable novel with sprinkles of comical incidences that would make the reader laugh out loud.
However, it has its share of pros. The narration is a plus point as it sheds light on all the characters equally and the reader would be able to connect with the protagonists. It is a sweet, simple story with a genuine ending that would leave a hint of a smile on the reader’s lips.