You should never judge a book by its cover. Especially not one that looks like a cross between The Incredible Hulk and 1942 – A Love Story. Not to forget, the overly cheesy title. Well, that said, those were the only things I had against this book. What lies between the aforementioned nightmare-inducing covers is a whole different ball game.
‘Love Destiny…’ is the story of Mayur. It is the story of Shobha. It is the story of Chandani. And it is the story of Lata. Why is it the story of so many people? Because the author manages to create enough depth within each character for you to visualize any of them as the protagonist, and you wouldn’t be wrong.
Cryptic praise aside, let’s get on with the story. The setting is Bangalore, 1986 (or around that time) and our hero, the Lucknow-born Mayur. Moving to Bangalore for his bachelor’s degree, Mayur visits his relatives frequently and establishes a friendly relationship with the neighbouring Vermas. When he gets to meet their niece Shobha on his umpteenth visit, lady love comes a-knockin’ on this poor boy’s door. Running parallel to our little love story, are arrangements for Chandani’s upcoming nuptials, Chandani being Mayur’s first cousin and childhood playmate.
A wise man (me) once said ‘where there is love, there must surely be heartache lurking nearby’. Shobha randomly decides to break it off one day and tells Mayur to move on with his life, without as much as a ‘nice being with you for two years’ card. Heartbroken, Mayur sends a number of letters to his erstwhile girlfriend, only to be snubbed royally. Well, Mayur decides to leave it at that and does go on to marry Lata, but with a nagging question in his mind for a major part of his married life: Why wouldn’t Shobha tell him the reason for dumping his sorry ass? Ok, not exactly in those words, but you get the picture.
The book reads very easy, if you aren’t a Grammar Nazi like yours truly. Even so, the way in which Murlidhar handles the story and the characters is commendable. But, sometimes, you just can’t overlook the mistakes because the story matters more than the combination of words chosen to tell it. He makes every conversation that takes place in the book, as life-like as possible. So much so, that in one part of the story, Mayur and Shobha are actually discussing Mayur’s career options. This is a far cry above from the text message conversations one might read in recent Indian fiction.
The issues raised in this book are both well-disguised and well-propagated. You don’t feel lectured for a second, yet you pick up something of value from each character. The author’s age and maturity distinctly show in the book.
Verdict? Well played, Mr Srivastava. This book is definitely worth your money if you like your love stories to make sense.
If you find the book interesting, buy from Amazon or Flipkart here: