March 9, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: 'Love was never mine' by Kunal Bhardwaj

Kunal Bhardwaj's debut novel 'Love was never mine' is an emotional story about Rahul (no, not the TMD kind), your simple 'guy-next-door' types and his unconditional love for Shreya, the beautiful girl from his office. The book starts on a promising note with an interesting prologue and as we turn the pages we see Rahul falling for Shreya when he sees her for the first time in their training program on their new job. As fate would have it, Rahul, who is too shy around girls and does not appreciate outer beauty (though he believes in love at first sight), is introduced to Shreya by his friend, Riya. And from then on the three along with Hari, Rahul's pornstruck friend and roommate have fun in office and outside its four walls.

Shreya starts asking for Rahul's help whenever she is in trouble and even though she has a boyfriend, Rahul never gives up on her. He believes in the universe and his love for Shreya. And the universe in turn does not disappoint him, some welcome coincidences and twists of fate ensure that support. Rahul continues going out of his way to help her, take care of her and do all the small little things that people do in love. Ultimately however, Rahul's love stays just a one-sided affair even after he ends up confessing his feelings via an e-mail to Shreya. Anything ahead of here will give away the 'real' story and hence I would not venture further.

That's the issue! The story was written with only the ending in mind and you can literally feel it as the author makes his way towards the ending, creating and birthing events that have pretty much the same flavor (office, love, heartbreak). Another aspect was that the shift in the POV was irritating, especially initially. I would have much rather preferred the author sticking to the protagonist (Rahul's) POV and not venturing much into Shreya's mind. The shift in tense was another issue in the initial chapters but it might have been an editorial mistake, I am not sure.

Now the real judgment. This book is not a story, though it might come across as one. It is more like a collection of events bound together by fate and their subsequent outcome. The main focus of this story is on 'feelings' and the emotional turmoil the protagonist goes through. The events composed though repetitive are cute, coming from a character who has never been in love before (reminded me of my Rahul from TMD). The ending is surprising, though the title pretty much gives it away that it is not really a 'happily ever after' story. I liked the ending but it might not be lapped up by some. The author has done a decent job of his first novel and his sincere efforts comes across on every page of this easily readable book. It's short (about 144 pages) and cute. Give it a try for your reading buds, especially if you fancy a light romance with an interesting ending. It's a 3/5 from my side!

Get it from Flipkart.



Vidisha said...

wow.....hmm sounds like a great read...

ash said...

I read d was a good one..a refreshing change for a Indian aurthor...after a series of books that are woven around IIMs n affairs, this one was different..
A great story line depicting d essence of true Love..the events sound very real...written in concise n a crip style...Value for Money !!

Kunal Bhardwaj said...

Thanks Ash! Way more to go for me yet! :-)

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