Monday, April 16, 2018

Book Review: Radius 200 by Veena Nagpal

The Title of the Story: Radius 200
Author: Veena Nagpal
Cover: Goes well with the story. Love the strip of blue which is the very core of the story.
Editing:  Could have been better
The language of the author: Simple and easy to understand.  
Star Rating: 4 stars. 

The author has based her story purely on imagination.  As I peeled away the layers of the story, many questions arose in my mind. The things we take for granted, the relationships that we often neglect, what if one day they all are gone? What if, for one day, you are stuck inside your body with your mind broken into small fragments?

This book is not an easy read. It started with a triangle love story between Arjun, Om, and Kyra. But as the scenes become more political, you will see the subtle differences in the relationships. Especially between Arjun and Kyra. As Kyra searches for Om, secrets, and lies are exposed.

The relationship between the characters was a bit murky. While I liked the relationship between Om and Kyra but that between Arjun and Kyra was not dealt with properly. When Arjun is married with two kids, the way he makes love to her didn't gel well with me. I am not a prude. I understand these things happen but what surprised me was the utter lack of emotions involved in this scene. If two people are attracted enough towards each other, there has to be some quickening of the heartbeat. Some residue of an old love story or even just plain old lust. But in this case, there was nothing. There was no remorse in Arjun's part and that really became a huge flaw in his character. Every action has a reaction. In this case, his family became mere words on paper.

But on the other hand, when I see the characters of Jiji and her twins, I found the characters very well written. Either you will hate them or love them but the hunchbacks, the distorted faces will leave a mark on you. That is some powerful characterization here which I wish would have also extended to the three protagonists.

There were few scenes that were so graphic that I had to skip them to stop the bile rising inside me. The pain, the anger and the waiting of the residents of the Radius 200 area, is so heart wrenching, that you feel like telling the Indian government that even in a fiction, you failed me. (Sorry for this political thought but with the rape cases going on, the woman inside me is damn angry)  Forgotten, bewildered as to why their world had changed, they are only praying to get back their water. And in order to please the gods, they are ready to do any kind of sacrifice. Some of the descriptions would have spared me a queasy stomach.

The plot of the story is the winner here. Very unique. You are bound to put down the book in a few places and think - what if it was true and pray that such a day, that the author had envisaged,  never arrives.

Grab your copy from:
amazon

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