Book: I too had a love story
Author: Ravinder Singh
Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors
Price: Rs 100
Rating: 4 out of 5
Review: ‘I too had a love story’ is the debut novel of young Indian author Ravinder Singh. This novel penned in an autobiographical style is highly poignant, painful and gripping, and has catapulted the author into the league of national bestsellers. It is not a literary masterpiece by any means but will wrench your heart apart if you happen to be a hardcore devotee of romance.
The story traces the real-life tale of the author and introduces itself with the catch lines ‘do love stories ever die’ and ‘not all love stories are meant to have a perfect ending’! Thus, the reader is made aware, on the onset, that the climax is an unhappy one, a la that tear-jerking Titanic.
The plot, therefore, is fairly predictable. However, it has its own trajectories and there are moments which would send those vibrations of shock pulling you out of your bed late at 3 am (if you are a late night reader a la me)! But admittedly, the novel is noteworthy not for its knowable plot or average narration but for the emotions which overflow in an intoxicating overdose.
To serve a gist- Ravinder and his old friends chance upon a reunion and debate about finding their perfect matches from online matrimonial sites. While the rest head back to their old office routine, the protagonist Ravinder, in one stroke of serendipity, opens a matrimonial account and bumps into a pretty young Khushi.
The next few pages get lost in their slow but sure development of friendship, affection, love and desire. The two, demarcated by geography, connect through technology, with internet and mobile stitching up a 21st century love story.
And unlike many real-life love stories which fade away over the net, this duo does turn up for an actual meeting. It is on the Delhi airport that Ravinder first sets his eyes on the rapturous off-shoulder attired Khushi. But what happens next is a thrilling episode of romance, escapades, separation and promises. But, wait…that’s a chimera! Not all love stories have a happy ending….
This book is not one for the intellectuals. It is all about heart. So, if you only stack those Booker Prize copies or the classic volumes of Dickens and Austen, then this book may not be for you. The language is simple and admittedly amateurish. It would be fair to say that Ravinder’s pen has poured more emotions than adjectives. But the book grows on you with each turning of the leaf. One may feel a sense of disappointment or a lack of respect while leafing through the initial chapters, but the book gets better and better, literally scaling up in an ascending order. If the start is ordinary, the climax is extraordinary- not for any surprising plot, but for the tear-jerking effect.
It is hard not to drop a tear as you turn the last page. The memories would stay with you for quite some time. Call him the Nicholas Sparks of India if you want, but Ravinder Singh is here to stay. He may not produce another book of such an emotional magnitude, but his debut work is certainly a masterpiece……albeit only for the rom-com loving generation.
PS- I wonder why they never made a film version of the book. It certainly has all the ingredients for a lovey-dovey Bollywood romance. Karan Johar, are you listening?
~By Ritesh Agarwal