Life is an oddity. Everyone seeks different things at different times. To a 6th grader, happiness would be a 90+ score in maths but to a 42 year old woman, it could be the smile on her child’s face. Love at the age of 15 means that you are in a relationship for more than a year or two. Strangely, it stands in a different spectra altogether for a 34 year old. This book, ladies and gentlemen is a unique work just because of its different approach.
This 223 paged novel is not for the weak hearted or for fantasy fans. Using interconnected short stories, Verma has created a niche for his writing by exploring something narrowly restricted but yet open to a vast audience. This is how unique the Indian literature readership is. By bringing out lively characters, near life like situations and different walks of an Indian’s life, LPH becomes a inner probe as each story challenges you to find something in yourself which the characters with their elaborate descriptions, complement.
One of the best parts of this book is that the characters are not people unlike us. They are simple personas replicated from real life which everyone can simply relate to. I completely agree with the author when he says that in all probability, we have met people like these in different phases of life. Some are winners, some are extraordinary achievers, some are plain losers, some are damaged, and some are disturbed. But the point remains that the character portrayal in this book is excellent and are more alive than expected. Also the “hatke” factor of the book is that it has URLs at the end of every story to alternate endings (a reader can also submit his or her own alternate ending online) to each short story. Thus, each story, although sticking to a central theme and message, gives you the ability to fiddle around and decide the recipe of the perfect match to the story.
Arriving to a gray area which conflicts with me, I found the philosophical discussions expounded by the characters odd. Not that I’m against it but to me, characters having spiritual conflicts and arguments about petty issues was weird simply because as I mentioned earlier, the characters are more lively than usual books and we can associate them with someone we know. Now, in that context, their conversations, if not in sync, create a paradoxical oddity. Although the idea of proposing deep ideas via character thoughts and conversations is nothing new but Rituraj’s bluntness and the book’s X factor in itself pulls it down.
Overall, the book was a good read. Definitely a must if in need for a inner seeking but won’t recommend it for a fun filled holiday or enjoyment weekend. Such books are special and heavy duty, suitable for reading with a deep heart and an open mind.
The Standing Coin Rating: 6/10
Like: Brilliant life like characterization, unique concept of alternate endings online, Indian audience focused
Dislike: Spiritual discussions although profound, seem to be unnatural for the characters. They feel like a hand sewn onto an amputated man. Works, but just not the right grip