Book Review: ‘Love Cocktail’ by Upendra Sahaniby Shibesh Mehrotra on May 26, 2012 • 11:35 AM No Comments
I have a very definitive classification of authors: there are good ones, there are bad ones and then there are engineers. Following the trend after a certain Mr. Bhagat (CB) struck gold by reminiscing about his college, Mr Sahani, too, offers nothing of substance in his debut, Love Cocktail. If anything, the book is Love Lemonade with a serious Vitamin C deficiency.
The story starts in a very (you guessed it!) CB way; with our hero entering the narrative by narrating it to another minor character, in this case, his HR head. Though I fail to understand in what universe would an HR executive have enough time to listen to their employee’s woeful tale? Correction, a 248-page long woeful tale. So, as I was saying, our hero, Raj, narrates the story of his college group, or in the author’s words, ‘gang’, to his employer. As in almost every other story written by engineers, the main character and his friends, Rahul, Rohan and Razik, go through enough ups and downs to warrant a full-scale Hindi movie on each one.
Sahani touches on every sensitive base with this novel to draw in the masses; cricket, love, politics, it’s all there but, sadly, in a way that has been done many, many times before. Two of the main characters, Rohan and Rahul, get burned in love while the “hardware” (people who aren’t into mushy stuff, author’s word, not mine) Raj falls in love with the very girl he couldn’t stand earlier in the book.
The only member of his ‘R4 Gang’ who doesn’t seem interested in girls, or love, is Razik, who would probably give Hanuman an inferiority complex when it comes to abstinence.
The only thing I have against this book, apart from the story, is the language. Now, our author probably skipped grade school grammar to be cool, but the hard fact is you really need to know how to string together a proper sentence to write a book. In the first chapter, itself, I could point out 20 errors, and I won’t even be trying. Sad part? If he would have written the same book in Hindi, it would have seemed much more authentic and would have had a deeper connect. I like to give credit where credit is due; he portrayed the mindset of the middle class, college-going boys very well, but lost out when it came to portraying girls. If you go by what the book will have you believe girls will screw you over time and again, no matter who you are.
Verdict? This isn’t a book you can read on a train journey. This is not a coffee table book, if anything it’s a coaster to keep your cup on. If you really want to read worthy fiction coming from a scientific mind, try Lewis Carroll or Umberto Eco. At least they got their grammar correct.
If you find the book interesting, buy from Amazon or Flipkart here: