Writer: Rohit Gore
Publisher: Grapevine India
Price: Rs 125/-
Released: July 10, 2013
It is so tough to find and read a real love story and that too in a language which we speak. Rohit Gore is a three-book-old veteran. And we assume that he has found enough devotees through those efforts. His fourth book, The Guardian Angels, is in his words his first attempt at mainstream writing. Irrespective of whether you have read his previous works or not, there are good chances that you might end up either loving Gore’s fourth attempt at writing or liking it. Either way, it works for us (and his fans).
The story is simple, or you think so. The lead characters are Aditya Mehta, heir to a billion dollar Mehta empire and Radha Deodhar, daughter of a socialist and comes from a middle-class family. Their friendship starts on an unusual level and turns into a rather turbulent relationship. But it is the kind of love which a few would understand and it takes them two decades to reach a position where they are there for one another and yet separate. Each go through a series of experiences which threatens their bond and despite everything, makes it even stronger.
The premise might seem familiar, but the treatment is not. Gore needs to be given a pat on his back for treating a love story which starts with the protagonist getting together against bullying. Each of them are as different as chalk and cheese. And yet it is that something which makes them best friends and love each other on a different note. Aditya comes out as someone who might seem romantic but deals with things more pragmatically than Radha who is a socialist and her stance on her ideals can be bullish. To her credit, she stands by her values but values her friendship and love for Aditya even more. The parallel stories are of Aditya and his dysfunctional rich family while Radha deals with a family secret which has ruined the Deodhars in a horrible way. You might find the story somewhat similar to Love Story or any other love story but Gore gives it a good Indian flavour and enough twists to keep you hooked. What might be somewhat irksome is the rather staid start and a rush to go towards their adult life for the real story to start. A few pages to develop their relation in school would have worked for the character’s bond. But once they actually try to understand the nature of their attraction, Gore is on the run.
The narrative is divided into four parts, starting from the school days and ends two decades later, when they have charted a certain life for themselves. While Radha’s life can be read in the form of her diary, Aditya’s can be seen via a third person. In between, you have emails developing the storyline further. Each portion helps us understand the protagonists better and their attitudes towards everything. The language, in fact, is extremely real and you somehow go along with its flow. Nowhere you might what to go back and try to re-read. Most would connect with the characters and story immediately. One of the most interesting and rather smile worthy event happens every time the Adi and Radha fight – they burst out laughing. It does come out more often and you always end up feeling that this is how we usually behave, with friends and lovers.
The Guardian Angels is as mainstream as it can be and a worthy novel to read once. Rohit Gore, in a short time, has gathered a following and with this novel, maintains it. Unlike many novels by Indian writers (from corporate or non-literary background), this book does not offend your senses if you know what I mean and you might want to read it with a cuppa tea and easiness. By the way, Gore too comes from a corporate background but a little birdie has told us that he is a bookworm and can talk books, authors and stories, even in his dreams. It does show through his writings. We recommend this one!