Author: Mohan Prasad
Publisher: Frog Books, an imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.
Cover Design: Mishta Roy
Cover : 4/5
Title : 3.5/5
Blurb : 3/5
Story : 3.5/5
Theme : 3.5/5
Characters : 3/5
Overall : 3.5/5
- Dalai aka Darshan- The protagonist
- Anita- Leader of a famous Naxal group
The search is on, not for something concrete but abstract. Anita and Darshan, two teenagers in love, explore the land they love and the people they live among, driven by their dreams of making an ideal society out of a chaotic India. They learn from their own heroes – thankfully India abounds in great men and women. But fate betrays them. Their ideologies diverge and the road forks. Darshan ends up an acclaimed healer; Anita becomes a dreaded Naxal strategist. Love, both presence and absence of it, runs through the tale, while Indian history unfolds for a free, but confused generation.
“Legacy” by Mohan Prasad is a plot set in the old times of India’s independence. Dalai is a young boy, a child of Shankar and Savitri. Shankar was keen on having his son educated with the best of facilities and upon insistence, he enrolls Dalai into a hostel in Patna. Although he hated the thought of being away from his parents, he made friends very fast and was soon one of them. The adventurous and fun moments in Patna help Dalai live a life without missing his family. Having been suspected for misbehaving with girls, he was suspended from school; although Shankar had full faith that his son would never conduct a misdeed like that. Dalai was sent to Ganj to continue his studies where he fell in love with his class teacher Seema’s daughter, Anita, who was less than a year older than him. They soon got to interacting with each other and were supportive of each other’s ideas and thoughts. She found the name “Dalai” interestingly funny and hence lovingly named Dalai “Darshan”. They were both very fond of politics and the Indian Administrative System on the whole. Anita was a fan of the Gandhi-ans with a special admiration for Indira Gandhi. Dalai however was supportive of the Janata Party (JP). When the JP once won election, marking the first ever defeat of Congress in independent India’s history; Anita was happy for Dalai and herself enlightened Dalai with this news. That was the first time they made love and Dalai was reassured that Anita would always be by his side.
In due course of time when they had to part ways – Anita seeked admission in Delhi and Dalai in IIT Kharagpur – Dalai confronted her of never willing to leave her alone and was shocked to hear from Anita that he shouldn’t take their physical intimacy very seriously and that it was just a passing phase. However, Dalai was committed to prove his love for her, for which he decides to walk bare foot on burning coal, as a part of one of the famous rituals. Anita despises him for his decision but was also the first one to hug when he succeeded in walking the entire bed of burning coal with bare feet. That was the first time she openly expressed her love for her Darshan. They have some amazing time in Delhi during their college days.
Shankar is determined to get them married as soon as possible and even Savitri is very approving of Anita as her daughter-in-law. They try to convince Dalai and Anita for getting married but they are both apprehensive for their own reasons. Dalai wanted to settle his feet as a stable bread-earner and Anita wanted to dedicate her life to serve the poor. But the sudden course of events that force them to choose extremely opposite paths in life and change their future completely gave me goose-bumps. The end is sure to have you leave devastated and deep in thoughts.
Mohan has dived deep into the history of India to include incidences of great significance for our society. His accurate knowledge of facts and the details about politics and especially the Naxalites helped him very positively in grooming the characters and the plot on the whole. There was a sense of anticipation throughout on how the dots will be connected in the end.
A few situations were too elaborate to hold the attention of the the reader. Incidences were stretched / even mentioned in the book, unnecessarily. Many such incidences had no relation with the actual story that was supposed to be conveyed, nevertheless were included in the script, which could have been avoided. Maybe the book would have been written in a much better way with less number of pages involved. The narration seemed a little disconnected, jumping back and forth between the old memorable incidences and the current scenario.
A different book, must read if you love historic ideologies and politics. (3.5/5)
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Click here to read Author Mohan Prasad’s interview by me.
- Available at: Amazon(Rs. 225)
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