Paperback, 1 edition, 593 pages
Published August 22nd 2015
Read Out Loud Publishing LLP
(first published May 20th 2015)
Kirtida has done a great job by portraying the most heinous crime in the history of manhood- Rape. The book is all about how the rapist and the victim reach the unfortunate state and how they proceed further. A juvenile should be given a chance to change himself and start a brand new life so that he would become a better person? Well, A juvenile should not be considered a kid if he rapes someone because then its clear that he is not a juvenile anymore.
The main characters in this story are Rudransh Kashyap, the millionaire and his family. Arush, his grandson is accused of rape and arrested. Rusransh's family is shattered by the news. His wife Gayatri,Son Mrigank, Daughter-in-law Ananya and Grand daughter Navya- Everyone is pulled into the whirlpool of emotional stress after Aarush's arrest. There is another character Pihu, Aarush's ladylove and Kashyap family's domestic help's daughter. She is a strong link in the family as well as story line.
The other part of the story is Subhangi Tyagi, who is the rape victim. She is survived by her mother. She lives with her best friend Tabrez Sheikh(Taz). For me, he is the real protagonist since he is the one man who stood by her friend. He shared the apartment with Subhangi but never crossed his lines. After her rape, the way Taz gives her succor is so amazing. He is what a man should be. Another character is Vijay, who is Aarush's alleged accomplice in the incident. Then comes Meghana, Aarush's advocate, Subramaniyan the prosecution lawyer,Samvedana the Psychiatrist. Various minor but important characters which pass through the story line are Saurah,Vaishnavi,Priya,Shrini,Harmeet etc. Each character is crafted really well. Each chapter is dedicated to a character, who becomes the first person. The approach gives a clarity about the long story.
The irregular order of the chapter and the flowchart in the beginning which explains it is a refreshing treatment.
"There are many parents who gets scared when a daughter is born to them. It is because they fear for the safety of the girl. Let me tell you something from my personal experience. It is no better if your son rapes a woman than when your daughter gets raped. It is equally painful, may be more." These are the words of Rudransh Kashyap. Yes, the story is all about how a family cope up with the shock of knowing that their child is a rapist. Well, the author portrays the family pain in the most intense and believable manner.
I have heard a lot about the inability of Indian Authors in putting forth a good story line with strong language. I have always wondered why this prejudice that too from fellow Indians. I have just one thing to tell them. Read this book and see how an Indian author put forth the most difficult scenario seamlessly.
Kirtida has done thorough homework in portraying the court scene. She has also used her psychological knowledge in explaining Aarush's condition. An appendix of Psychoanalysis of rape is given, which, everyone should read.
At the end of each chapter, I thought this is the twist. The beginning of the next chapter I realize that more surprises remain in store.
All in all the book impressed me really well and I could not put it down.
Finally, I was not quite satisfied with the retribution. It was lighter than expected. May be that's the whole story is about. Juveniles doesn't get punished in proportion to the crime.
One liner about the book: This is a literary outburst against the social evil that send shudders down the spine of every parents. Parents of both boys and girls
Rating : 4.5
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Reviewed for the author
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy from the Author in exchange for a honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
About the author
Kirtida Gautam is a post graduate in Clinical Psychology. She also holds a Diploma of Performing Arts in Dramatics. Later she joined the prestigious institute Film and Television Institute of India, FTII, Pune for screenplay writing course. She worked for television shows such as Dharampatni and Jodha Akbar.
In December 2012, when a 23 years old paramedic student was brutally gang raped on a moving bus in Delhi, entire nation felt rage for the victim who was given the title Nirbhaya- the fearless, for the way she fought with the inhumane tragedy she was forced to endure. Her tragedy also brought in light the debate if a juvenile offender’s age should be considered the primary criteria while determining his/her punishment. Kirtida as a psychologist strongly feels that it is role of the state as parens patriae of its youth to give them right direction, and even while the intention of state might be right to give juvenile offenders care and protection and not punishment, there is a high possibility of this law being misused by people who commit heinous crimes such a rape. The book written by the author revolves around this very premise, are we doing a sensible thing by not considering the competence and ability to premeditate while deciding the punishment for juveniles.
This is the first fiction written by the author. She lives in Bangalore with her husband Mrityunjay Gautam and her daughter Agrima.