Monday, 20 February 2012

The Chances We Take. Or Not.

Book under review:

Ahmed Faiyaz, Another Chance
Grey Oak Publishers, 2010
ISBN: 978-93-81626-02-3
Rs. 195

We all know that we have one life. There is a full stop at the end. Yet when life throws us many chances at moving forward or back, reassessing or developing priorities, making or breaking relationships – how many of us choose to shape our lives differently when those chances happen?

If our lives today are shaped by the choices we made in the past, then the future will be shaped by the chances we take today. Sometimes, we miss the chance but life may give us another chance to get things right. This is the premise on which the author has based this work of fiction.

A romantic story set in today’s urban Indian milieu, where the people are ever more so connected at various stages, across different cities and countries, as life progresses with its myriads of turns and twists. The story is quite relatable and is a pleasurable light read, given it remains at a steady pace. Interspersed with flash backs and present situations, the story is definitely a Bollywood film away.

The cast:

Ruheen is the heroine. A confused and scared, rich beauty who right from her boarding school days is plagued with wanted and unwanted attention as well as emotional distresses because of the chances she gets and the decision she makes. In her adult life, even when she seems to make the right sort of choices, her need for constant love and emotional security conflicts with her decisions.

Aditya is the hero. Smart MBA type, whose focus on education and marketing consumer products like oils and gels, is consistently battled with, in his head, by the unbeatable cravings that the heroine raises in him.

Varun is another hero. A small town boy, who makes merry in the city only to realise his destiny is tied to his hometown. An immature chap in his younger days, like wine, he seems to get better as he ages. A fellow with the heart of gold and a sensible head set on his shoulders, all which are available to the heroine anytime she wants.

Malika is another heroine. Could have been the vamp of yesteryear films, is today however an ambitious blackberry toting, marketing speaking, tweeter. Lives for the moment, has no issues in pushing aggressively if she gets a chance or feels the need.

Vishal is the villain. Son of a politician who likes to hit the gym and pump his muscles. Likes to hang out with daredevil buddies or baddies depending on whose viewpoint they are looked at. He likes to obsessively stalk the heroine giving her the fright of her life every time their paths cross, wittingly or unwittingly.

Rohan is another messed up character. The NRI type. Confused about his priorities. Has familial, substance addiction and rage issues, seeks to financially benefit from relationships.

The story:

Set in urban cities as well as small towns in both, India and elsewhere, the story weaves through college life and work life. It builds to a crescendo and the pace remains rather tight. The characters are fleshed out, realistic and are therefore relatable to people we know amidst our lives. As one of the main characters is a woman the author has smartly taken feedback from his women friends and colleagues, to give some depth and not make her appear vacuous.

The story is plausible, though there are quite a few moments when it certainly feels like a Bollywood potboiler on paper. There are gorgeous locations described, from which while reading, you may be forgiven for expecting a song and dance sequence to burst out from the pages.

Interestingly, the marketing challenges and time consumed by those challenges as described in the life of the hero are quite realistic, and would leave many a reader with a knowing smile or smirk on their faces.

Overall rating: 6/10.

Recommendation: You could take a reasonable chance at being entertained. Pick up the book online or from your nearest store, and enjoy a decently paced romantic read which does resemble life, as it is, these days.


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The Chances We Take. Or Not.

Book under review: Ahmed Faiyaz,  Another Chance Grey Oak Publishers, 2010 ISBN: 978-93-81626-02-3 Rs. 195 We all know...