February 17, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: 'Of Love and Politics' by Tuhin Sinha

This book is an amalgamation of two distinct Indian attributes, love and politics as the title suggests. It is a complicated mix of feelings and patriotism and you can just gape at the amount of research- from naxalites to the history of political parties in India- the author has undertaken. The book picks up from the first chapter itself and goes onto move in a cyclical wave, confusing the reader at times but delighting him mostly. Some people compared it with the film ‘Rajneeti’ but after the initial chapters, the book stands on its own. There have been critics of the book but the sales throughout stores seems to suggest otherwise as we can say Indian politics is far too predictable for films to be made on the same line or books to be written on the same subject.

The story is about three young political mavens (as you can understand from the back cover). Aditya Samar Singh of Congress, Brajesh Ranjan of BJP and communist Chaitali Sen are anything but political novices and the book offers an intriguing setup, with their personal and professional relationships intermingling. Secondary characters too don’t manage to put off the reader and you cannot help but sympathise with Aditya’s girlfriend, Sarah and Chaitali’s friend Monica and her husband. The book brings about the very unpredictable nature of love. You can almost see the entire timeline of Indian politics being played live in front of your eyes throughout the book. The book twists and turns through some major events, playing with the life of the three primary characters. Not for once, do they let their determination break. There are of course too many things to deal with when it comes to a subject like politics and add to it the wide boundaries of love and Sinha has tried to include them all, though it may end up confusing the reader in certain areas. The book really has some really touching sentences and pondering paragraphs which tug at the reader’s heart (I have deliberately not included them here as they’ll take away the joy of reading). But one scene that still haunts me is from a popular hangout in Delhi at night when Chaitali and Brijesh are hanging out together and she finishes underlining the problem in the very last sentence of the chapter.

Beautifully written in elegant prose, this book will keep you hooked even if you have nothing to do with ‘That thing called politics’ (having read Tuhin, you’ll have something to do with That thing called love!) The amount of research and intellect of the author will never cease to amaze you and it’s indeed a delight when little known facts hit you at the most unexpected times. The climax is a little unexpected and came a little sooner than I had anticipated, but nevertheless, this one’s a top read. Go grab it. I say 4.8/5!

Buy it from Infibeam.


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