Thursday 20 February 2014

Book Review- Love @ Air Force By Gaurav Sharma

Title- Love @ Air Force
Author- Gaurav Sharma
ISBN- 978-163041628-7
Publisher- Blackbuck Publication
Genre- Fiction
Price- Rs 150

I'd like to thank Nimi Vashi from Reader's Cosmos for giving me this opportunity to review this book. May it keep raining books like this forever!

Now, this is what you'd call a pure work of art. You can imagine how much of a mathematician the author is by the way he has numbered even the acknowledgements in his introductory pages. With 287 pages, you'd expect a lengthy, twisted tale of thrill and suspense but instead, it is delightfully simple and unsophisticated (in a positive sense) tale of human emotions.

About the author
The author has three interests which "intersect". Mathematics (Now you know why he used the term 'intersect'), cricket and writing. The author dedicates the book to his mother and father. Now, here is what I read when I see a guy writing a small poem for his Ma and Pa at the start, dedicating the book to them- this guy has written this book more for the love of writing than for profit-making. He comes from a family with a background in defence and hence understands the nuances involved in that society.

About the book.
The book is about Air Force Station Agra where three classmates get together after years and the sparks that fly. It is an emotional drama involving class envy, love, inferiority complex and inner turmoils. Sergeant Sushil Awasthi is the one blaming his circumstances for where he is and feels like life has wronged him. Medical Officer, wing commander Shabd Mishra is his best friend of school days who now is ranked higher above him at Air force. Soumya is Shabd's school days' crush who is married to another Air force officer. There seems to be enough scope to play around with the emotions of these characters as all of them have got their weaknesses and strengths plus we have the fine nuances of a friendship that transcends class boundaries.

There is not much to write about the literary talents of the author because you'll find use of multiple punctuations, incorrect usage of the apostrophe and certain syntax errors which could certainly have been avoided. But, I am more likely to be booed for being a grammar Nazi in this because of all the honesty and sincerity with which the novel has been put together. One wonders whether the novel would have been more beautiful if the author would have written it in Hindi. But I guess, if India can accept Chetan Bhagat, we certainly have room for Mr Gaurav Sharma. The story seems so real that when you reach the end you feel as you want to know more about these characters, as if they were your friends. All the events and happenings are so commonplace that there comes a point when you stop and check the back cover of the book to see if you've actually bought a fictional book or someone's personal diary.

The language used is of everyday use and there are Hindi words thrown in for greater impact. The novel might look thick but it is so easy on the eye that you won't even notice when it gets over. The poet in the author keeps coming back in the form of small couplets and poems in between; these poems connect the reader to the characters and help strengthen the narrative.

I recommend the book to those who want to take a break from serious reading and are not looking for perfect grammar and linguistic devices. Just an honest story. In words of the author- "The heart is a more sophisticated device than a Sukhoi..."

I'd rate it ***/2 (2.5 out of 5 stars) 

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