|A Love Story - A Novel (Author: Varalotti Rengasamy)|
The author is a chartered accountant by profession - (a mofussil accountant as he derisively refers to himself). He is also an author of many Tamil novels and has written short stories for English and Tamil magazines as well.
The book “A Love Story : A Novel” is a very simple love story of a young man (who on the insistence of his father takes up the job of a bank clerk and writes novels as his passion in his free time) and his classmate from college who makes it big in the world of finance.
A misunderstanding on both sides ensures that the two go their own ways while they continue to pine for each other. Of course each one thinks that the other is married and has kids with someone else.
An elderly psychiatrist who is friend and counsel to our young author helps the two to find each others after a long gap of a decade.
The simple story line, plenty of idealism, some clean romance - all make for a very charming narrative.
One is struck by the idealism and value system that is described in the story. I doubt one can find these values being practised in the real world. It is probably this very fact that make it all the more pleasant to read. Let us say it helps the reader to escape into a world of ideals – honesty, commitment, love (not just the romantic kind), power of conviction, forgiveness ..... Add a liberal dose of emotions, drama, passion and sentimentality (which may or may not be everyone's cuppa tea) and that about describes the book.
If one can accuse the author of anything, it would have to be a few over-dramatic, over-sentimental dialogues:
“Tell me darling, why is the world so full of love”? Kamla asked her husband in a choked voice”.
The author's sense of humour surfaces here and there in his description of events and characters:
“The boys now had a very funny expression on their faces. Something that you would have seen on the face of a ten year old boy when the dog he had been chasing for a while, stood in its tracks and stared back at him, ready to attack”.
I can never stop marvelling at the details he brings in. For example he talks of treating psychiatric illnesses through counselling or through “chemical imbalance therapy”. Reminds me of Munnabhai's “chemical locha”. :-D
His metaphors also are very interesting:
“ 'Do you remember the time we had to drive down to Bangalore? I think it was last year. It was late in the night. Our car's headlights could show only the next 100 feet. But with that light didn't we travel the entire stretch - some 250 miles plus? We can't expect our car's lights to illuminate the entire road to Bangalore from here. Enough that we know what there is in the next hundred feet. Ask you friend to believe in God. He is the one who'll show the road. And don't try to illuminate the way with your intellectual highlights dear' ”.
Weaving in stories from our mythology and comparing it with a situation in the story is a trademark of this author. He intersperses the story of Narasimha avatar of Vishnu destroying the demon king with a part of the story to illustrate the parallels in the way the lady accountant demolishes the cads who try to mess about with the elderly doctor and her husband.
Like all other writings by this author, the central theme revolves around love of the purest kind.....
"All of us have been and still are in love. With our parents, our children, brothers, sisters,friends, lovers, wives ....In fact we live only so long as we can love. The moment we lose our capacity to love, we lose our capacity to live as well. A life without love is not living, but a mere existence".
or God's love for us and the power of prayer:
"The great Lord sitting above, who acts deaf when we pray for our own welfare, springs into action the moment He hears our prayers for others. And while granting such prayers, the kind Lord ensures our well-being too".
Sounds too romantic, idealistic and simplistic? Almost Utopian? Well, I for one am not complaining. I share the author's opinion that a world where people were less greedy and more caring would be a heaven on earth.
All in all a very pleasant read which keeps the reader enthralled all the way to the end.