Leonardo is a young man who is standing on a crossroad of life, facing choices. One road leads to a high stress career that brings in big bucks; the other is a chance to make a real difference in lives of others. He has a few questions, questions that all of us have faced when facing choices that can change our lives. Does fate make a man, or do his desires? Do ambitions and desires actually lead a person to true happiness and fulfillment, or does providence and life changing events actually show a person the true path to follow?
‘Choices’ raises these questions, and attempts to answer them. It is a slice-of-life, a book written from the heart.(
While reading this story the lines of W.H Davies's Leisure fleetingly passed through my mind
WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
Ruchira Khanna has done a lot of soul searching before writing this book is evident in the concept of the story. She has created the characters based on choices... how they chose life. It is evident that our momentary decisions affect our lives. But what about those of others? This question has always hovered in mind and now I get the opportunity to even present the same to the readers. Are our Choices our own? Does it not affect the lives of others too?
For instance, what would have happened if Albert had left his job? Would he have lived? Would Leonardo get his dream job? Would Amelia still be a happily married woman? Albert's choice not only made him unhappy, but also his family. His temperamental outbursts were changing the whole happy family scenario. But did Albert or Amelia understand that? Could they have changed anything?
This is where our 'Choices' become important. As parents, when we have responsibilities, should we not plan our lives such? Ruchira has created a simple family life of Amelia, Albert and Leonardo. A small, happy family ripped apart with Choices made by them.
The philosophy of the story is very deep. You need to pause many a times to understand the hidden layers in the life of Leonardo. Why is he like that? Initially, he was portrayed as highly ambitious- a go getter. Slowly life's choices tempers him down.
There are few things that could have been different in this story:
1. Tighter Editing. Editing some of the unwanted scenes.
2. Focusing on Leonardo from the beginning of the story. Not that I don't like Mateo but Leonardo is cuter :)
3. The First Person Narration. Grammatically NOTHING wrong with it. In fact, there are no grammar flaws. But when you write in first person, the POV shifts a lot for the reader to keep up with. The POV is not of the author. but that of the characters playing the part. So, should I sympathise with Amelia's pain after the death of Albert or should I understand the pain of Leonardo? My loyalty gets questioned and as a reader - I would love to be loyal to ONE character in the story.
After saying so much there is one special mention which I feel I must do. The death scene of Albert. The description done by Ruchira Khanna is too good. You will feal the pain and the fear of the person at that point of time. But again as I have mentioned. The first person narration did not allow me to feel the pain for long. I suppose a blessing in disguise?
Meet the Author
Choices: A Novel talks about how we all come to crossroads in our respective lives, and then the impact it makes by a choice we make. A biochemist by profession made a mere choice of enrolling myself into a technical writing course. Now, little did I know that this small decision would take me on a path to creative writing and eventually publishing a novel. This novel, Choices helps answer many questions about man's ambitions and desires and how is it a road towards happiness and contentment that could eventually become your destiny. This is a "slice-of-life" genre thus, impacting all humans who have made a choice sometime or the other in this lifetime!