Author: Gourab Mitra
Publisher: Partridge, a Penguin Random House Company
Cover Design: Om Prakash Khirodkar
Cover : 3/5
Title : 3/5
Blurb : 2/5
Story : 3/5
Theme : 2.5/5
Characters : 3/5
Overall : 2.5/5
- Kiran- The protagonist
- Omkar- Kiran’s love
- Ajinkya- Kiran’s father
We are a part of a male dominating society where some people still keep women below their shoes and nose. Kiran, a young woman has overcome these hurdles and has fulfilled her dream as a Radio Jockey. Today it’s her first day to work at Radio Rocks, a leading radio channel in Pune. She is exhilarated about it! Last night her boy friend proposed her for marriage, and her true love for Omkar overwhelmed her decision. She didn’t reply to him! In early 2004, her brother worked at a tea stall at the age of 10. Ajinkya, a BPO employee and a biggest loser in life, gets inspired by the kid. Ajinkya plans to adopt him, unaware of his past. Will the kid’s past bother Ajinkya’s personal and love life? Omkar is Kiran’s first crush. But for past few years they haven’t heard about each other! Will she compromise her first love & marry Ashish? Or will she wait for Omkar?
Dual Lives by Gourab Mitra is the story about child labor. It is the story of Kiran who has no choice but to work for a living. It is the story a BPO employee Ajinkya who is shattered due to recent events in his life. And it is the story of how Ajinkya meets Kiran for the good. The book starts with Kiran preparing for her first day at work as a Radio Jockey when she slips down memory lane to her childhood. She used to work as a tea stall waiter at the age of ten, along with a twelve year old guy named Javed. This tea stall was located in front of an international BPO where Ajinkya worked. Ajinkya along with his two friends, Rahul and Krishna, would visit the tea stall daily to smoke cigarettes, eat cream rolls, and of course to drink tea.
Ajinkya and Rahul stay in the same building. Rahul stays with his parents and a younger brother named Omkar, who was fast friends with Ajinkya. He would always worry about Ajinkya’s well-being and it hurt to see him stressed. Ajinkya would rest during the day, visit the hospital to meet someone during the evening and directly go to the BPO at night. Kiran feels connected to Ajinkya since their first meeting and so does Ajinkya. Upon discussion with Omkar, Ajinkya decides to bring Kiran home and handle the responsibility of educating and providing a fulfilling life to Kiran. But ever since Kiran comes home, Omkar feels that Kiran is staying aloof and hiding something from everyone. In due course of time, Omkar manages to befriend Kiran and they soon become great friends. With time, their relation changes and they drift apart like one whirl of wind.
What is Kiran’s past and why does it haunt her? Javed, who worked with Kiran at the tea stall would always take advantage of Kiran in exchange of preserving Kiran’s secret from the world. What secret is that? Will she ever be able to trust Ajinkya enough to open up to him? Why does Ajinkya religiously go to the hospital everyday? Whom does he meet there? Will he be able to share his past with Kiran and Omkar? Will Omkar and Kiran’s paths cross again? Well, you need to read the book to find out the answers to these!
Just one thing — STORY!!
Gourab picked up the sensitive issue of child labor and displayed the difficulties faced by the child who is forced to work in times of need for earning bread and butter and to sustain life. The story highlighted both aspects of the society — one which supports child labor and doesn’t hesitate even once while treating kids working for them with cruelty; and the other which seeks to help at-least one needy child and bring him / her out of the slums to live a normal and healthy life which every child deserves.
Did you read the blurb of the book mentioned above before coming to this point of my review and think why the name “Ashish” was mentioned? That’s where I am getting at! A confusing blurb was the first let-down. There is no one by the name of Ashish in the book and also the lives of Ajinkya and Kiran didn’t seem connected in any way, which should have been ideally portrayed by the blurb. Poor narration style, incorrect usage of pronouns (“he” for “she” and vice versa) at numerous places and incorrect grammar were a few other let-downs. If not for the story, I would have put down the book in the first few pages itself. Nevertheless, the story kept me hooked to the book which indicates a commendable effort by the author as a debutante.
A one-time read interesting story with poor editing (2.5/5)
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