Thursday, September 13, 2018

Book Review: R.S.V.P.: A Novel by Ruchira Khanna

Ruchira Khanna's R.S.V.P intrigued me. The title and the cover of the page suggested a tranquility that I was searching for at that moment. Having read her books earlier, like Choices and Voyages, I was ready for some heavy, contemplative reads. I generally avoid these kinds of books since I need to lighten my mind with books and not go into a thinking spree. But I am glad I picked up this book.

Coming to the story, it started off a bit slow with the introduction of Jay and his dog Yogi. Jay is a loner, sort of, if his chats with the delivery man are not taken into consideration. He has been ditched by his girlfriend and has lost all his love for life. Enter his cousin Gina who pushes him towards his Life and he decides to go on a cruise - only with Yogi. Life again takes a turn when he is shipwrecked and lands up on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, on an island, where money has no value.

Open wounds are healed, emotional scratches are looked into, relationships and their meaning are contemplated upon. Try as I might, I couldn't help asking a few questions to myself as I read along. To this extent, my friends too started asking me about my mood swings. Ruchira Khanna has a way of dwelling on the small issues of life that we often overlook.

Analysing the relationships in this book, I could divide them into that of a brother and sister, friends, mother, and son and one that you have with your pet. Different perspectives make a man behave differently. Ms. Khanna has a very good way of analyzing different moods of a human being and that can be applied to all of us. One eg. When someone ditches you, you tend to cling more to material things. That is what happened to Jay when Sasha leaves him. I found this statement very thought-provoking. Such minute things in life, we often neglect.

Coming to the characterizations, Ms. Khanna has taken a few creative liberties. Especially with Yogi. But the bond she has managed to create between the canine and his master is applaudable. I would have loved to see the less dramatism where the swimming scene was concerned but when I see my Fluffy, I just want to hug all the dogs in this world. So they can do anything they want, I really don't care as long as they are loved. Ms. Khanna is going to win many hearts just because of the way she has portrayed Yogi.

The relationship between Gina and Jay is another one worth pondering. While I would say Matt was Jay's conscious, Gina was definitely his anchor to Life. Well brought out in every scene. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter are like a treasure hunt and I started looking forward to what the next chapter will bring.

Having said that, Ms. Khanna has a tendency to incline towards telling rather than showing. Sometimes I wanted to see a scene, feel the anger or the pain that the characters were feeling. The liberal usage of adverbs with every feeling didn't do much to my imagination. Another thing which could be avoided is mass actions. Everyone behaving the same way at a certain point in time. Not everyone can gasp together nor turn to look wide eyes at that the same point of time.

Overall this book is a must read for those who like reading about Life and thinking about Life. I loved it. I loved thinking about my friendships, I even forgave my editors for making my miserable. I forgave a friend of mine who invited me to a party, canceled the party and forgot to tell me. She had the privilege of seeing me in all my make up glory. So Ms. Khanna, I have a lot to thank you for.

A Quote from The Book:

“I wish I had said a personal bye to mom."

Don't we all.

The First Line of the book:


There is a strange tranquility, as I realize I am surrounded by endless blue fluid. I try to talk but no voice comes out. I frantically try looking around but except infinite azure I cannot see anything.

My Recommendation:
For contemplative readers. You will love this book.

Author of the Book:

Connect with the author:

Get Vamana: The Fifth Avatar  from Amazon

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At September 13, 2018 at 4:22 PM , Blogger Ruchira Khanna said...

Thank you Rubina for the lovely review. I am happy that you enjoyed the read

I am thrilled that you could forgive your friend inspite of her not informing you about the cancelation :)


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