Author: Sukhmani Gandhi
Publisher: Cypher Publishers
Cover : 3.5/5
Title : 3/5
Blurb : 3.5/5
Story : 3/5
Theme : 4/5
Characters : 3.5/5
Overall : 3.5/5
The Shadow Of The Dark Soul is the story of Zayesha who is a twenty something journalist working in Delhi. Sensitive and compassionate she is a league apart from her contemporaries, who believe in the mantra of manufacturing or milking news. Cornered by her boss, she fights against time to work on the Nirbhaya case in order to save her job. Synchronicity plays a crucial, life- altering role in her life when a series of events make her question herself. During this phase, Zayesha comes across The Shadow of The Dark Soul, thanks to her next door neighbor. Nothing stays the same afterwards as Zayesha is made to reassess everything. Will she manage to finish her report on the Nirbhaya case on time? How far will she go to step from armchair activism into the realities of life? Will she win in the end? The questions are many, but the answers lie within The Shadow of the Dark Soul, the maiden novel of Sukhmani Gandhi, a budding Delhi based writer.
The Shadow of the Dark Soul by Sukhmani Gandhi is the story of a young girl name Zayesha. She is a journalist working at one of the news channels in the capital city of India, New Delhi. She is assigned an important task, to research about the 16th December 2012 case, on Nirbhaya. Deep into her research, she recalls various moments from her past life – her next door neighbor Liza who had tried to kiss her in the middle of one of the movies, making her realize the fact that she was a lesbian; her crazy hang-outs and idea implementations with the love of her life Armaan, who is far away from her, in another city, in the middle of his civil services training. She also comes across her old acquaintance, Mrs. Chandelier, who informs her about a club being run nearby, named “The Shadow of the Dark Soul”.
One fine day, while traveling to work via Metro, another woman who is abused by an old man of close to 65 years of age, instills a sense of courage in Zayesha and a zeal to change the face of the world. Engrossed in her research once again when she is informed that her research will be compared with that of a fellow intern’s who could replace her at her job, she decides to take a day off and visit Armaan, surprise him, and spend some quality time with him. Her mind, however, makes her step in a totally different direction, towards the shadow of the dark soul. What is this club all about? What does Zayesha see there that changes her complete outlook towards life? Grab a copy and I am sure it will pull some strings of your mind and make you give a second thought about certain aspects of life.
Hats off to Sukhmani for selecting such a bold topic for her debut experiment and pulling it off so well. Each and every aspect involved in rapes, either individual or gang, has been discussed and deeply scrutinized by the author, including the mentality of the criminals at the time of committing the crime and even the thoughts that lead them to it. All thoughts have been supported by facts and figures. Apart from different types of rapes, Sukhmani has also thrown light on the LGBT part of the society.
A few editing errors, like “emphasized” instead of “empathized”, “intact” instead of “infact”, could have been avoided / corrected. Other sentences had words missing which give the impression of the book being the first draft of the script.
A very bold attempt for a debut novel, must read (3.5/5)
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