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BOOK TALK: WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME? … by Ravinder Singh

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Read initiative–

This is an attempt to create interest in reading books. We may not get time to read all the books. But such reviews and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

TITLE: WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME?

RAVINDER SINGH

Publisher: Penguin

 Abridged in about thousand words for your quick assimilation

    There are times when a frightful mishap might instigate you to write a novel around it. This appears to be one such instance. Where, the author opens the book with an insinuation of a personal tragedy. He as if nudges his dad—who is enduring through the aftermath of a road accident, and then coming to terms with his life, which is not easy. Especially, when, life is not going to be the same there on.’

    This stimulates the author to make a valid point by highlighting some deplorable statistics that happens to be a sad reality of our country—‘Around a lakh and fifty thousand people die in road accidents each year in India. Just in case a disease would have taken these many lives. It would have been pronounced long back, as an epidemic. But sadly in India it is still not considered so. In less than every four minutes, carelessness claims a life on Indian roads. By the time you finish reading this book, probably, it would have claimed a lot many of us.’

    CENTRAL THEME: Of course … it is a love story.  With an overdose of coincidences, that spirals into a stunning romance. That would generally appeal to the young and perky age group or the likes of them. There is also a life lesson that the book offers in the ultimate. But that could have been scripted, more forcefully, in all sincerity. The book tow chain’s between the regular chapters narrating the past and the in-between lackluster chapters narrating the present, titled as the ‘Present’ that comes at regular intervals. That is after the completion of a few regular chapters. The author could have avoided this to make the continuity of the plot more weighing and the end more wholesome.

    PLOT: The series of coincidences, commence, when Rajbeer and Lavanya are juxtaposed in an aircraft flying from Mumbai to Chandigarh. Rajbeer hails from Patiala, where he owns a garment store along with his brother and father. He comes from a Sikh background but he himself is a cut-sardar.     

    Lavanya is a girl from Assam who has spent her childhood and teens in Shillong. The scenic hill capital of Meghalaya. So we are now talking of a North and North-East alliance. She now works in Mumbai, and is on her way to attend her best friend Shalini’s wedding in Chandigarh. They both start chatting in the aircraft that soon evolves into a warm friendship with some rollicking banters. This is followed by another coincidence. When at the airport they inadvertently lift the wrong bags that looked similar. This warrants Rajbeer to return half way from Patiala. When, he realizes the mistake and decides to track down Lavanya through the airlines, to retrieve his bag that is laden with cash as her bag was with him. This gives them the opportunity to be together for some more time. After the wedding Lavanya goes back to Mumbai. This is followed by another coincidence when Lavanya gets her MBA admission in Indian School of Business at Mohalli. So she is back with Rajbeer once again when the courtship only grows and intensifies. But by now one begins to feel as if one is watching an Anand Bakshi movie of the seventies starring Rajesh Khanna. A quote from the book, ‘who knows if love is a creation of conspiracy’ surely justifies the string of coincidences.

    Gradually, the romance peaks into a full blown love story. When, the protagonists finally decide to spend their lives together by getting married. While doing her MBA, Lavanya also starts teaching destitute children in the slums. That happens to be her prime mission and passion of life. In fact earlier she had given up her Google job because of this undying passion of hers.  She is extremely talented—a graduate from IIT Bombay who follows her heart. Where, Rajbeer is from GuruNanak Dev Engineering College of Punjab that gives him a fleeting complex of sorts.

    But then Rajbeer’s family has reservations about Lavanya, because she has chinky features with ‘almond eyes’ so to say and is sadly described as a ‘Chinese’ by Rajbeer’s father. A typical mindset of North Indian’s when it comes to people from the North-East. To which Rajbeer revolts in a soft manner when he doesn’t go with his family to Darbar Sahab in Amritsar. Instead he escorts Lavanya to Shillong on a holiday. The trek scene of Shillong is described quite in detail by the author—especially for those who love trekking.

    Lavanya with her exceptional talent continues with her classes for the destitute. Soon she is shortlisted by her college for a debate. Where, she represents the state of Punjab even when she is from the North-East. And as luck would have it. She figures in a tweet sent out from the twitter handle of the Chief Minister of Punjab. This makes her a local celebrity overnight. When, the family of Rajbeer finally agrees to marry them.

    But then the story takes a bizarre turn from chapter twenty three. When, Rajbeer tries to locate Lavanya and Chutki the young daughter of a police constable Madhav Singh. Who regularly attends Lavanya’s classes in the slums, in the midst of a severe storm and rain, one evening. Where, his inveterate habit of breaking traffic rules and speeding to madness finally makes the horrendous dent in their lives. I should not reveal the suspense I guess.

    The story has a plethora of intimate scenes. Perhaps, that happens to be the key driver of, such romantic novels.

    On the whole it was not a very moving story for me. However the book has its strength in terms of detailing and imagination of the author that includes:

    A trek in Shillong/A Punjabi wedding/ Bhangra dance/A sensual scene in the kitchen while making tea/Description of Guwahati and Shillong/Passionate feelings of Lavanya and Rajbeer all throughout/Description of a … typical Punjabi family/Local market of Patiala/A well defined buying process of salwar kameez perhaps he had lived the role/ Detailing of Patiala town/A scene of the hospital.

    About running through this book. The choice is yours …..

 *****  

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

 

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#RSS CAN HELP #INDIA EVEN BETTER; THROUGH ITS #SHAKHAS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

MISSION:

The prime mission of (RSS) Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or National Volunteer Organization” or National Patriotic Organization is to revitalise Indian value system based on universalism, peace and prosperity to all under the divinity of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. Holding a world view that the world is just one big family, so propounded by ancient thinkers and carried forward by many others of present day and age. But some contemporary leaders also link it to be the Hindu renaissance. But before getting into this never ending debate let us more objectively and tangibly see how RSS can help the poor Indian work force out of the current quagmire. In fact it would not be out of context to highlight certain issues where RSS can contribute immensely in the present scenario of India.

STRONG BASE:

RSS is an organization that works through its ‘Shahkhas.’ (Shakha-Hindi for “branch”) Most of the organisational work of the RSS is done through the coordination of these shakhas or branches. These shakhas are run for an hour a day in many public places. In 2004 as many as 60,000 shakhas were there throughout India. But the number of these Shakhas had fallen by over 10,000 since the fall of BJP led government in 2004 but has again swelled to 40,000 in 2014 after BJPs returned to power in Delhi.

SHAKHA ACTIVITIES:

These shakhas regularly conduct activities for its volunteers that include; physical fitness, yoga; exercises and also games. It also performs diverse activities emphasizing civic sense, social service, community living and patriotism. And, in the very recent, our Prime Minister has flagged of two important issues out of their kitty. He has spoken about the importance of Yoga in the US and has also launched the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan’ carving out from of the ‘civic sense’ of RSS.

RSS volunteers are also trained in first aid and in rescue and rehabilitation works. And, last but not the least physical fitness and security drills. Where, they are regular performers and also teach the art of self defense on a regular basis. An art much required in present times.

WHAT MORE IT CAN DO

But that apart, there is something more RSS can do very effectively. What comes to my mind is a comprehensive physical training for our poor work force in the rural and urban areas. Since the physicality of a human body is well understood by RSS volunteers, having been in the business of physical fitness for so long, so who else would know this trait better than them. In fact, I would rate RSS as one of the premier organisations for doing this job, clubbed with skill building and providing work-aids or designing new ones to make the jobs of our poor brethren more humane. So, in a more detailed manner RSS can thus delve in the following issues:

  • Train labourers how to carry maximum load on their back without damaging the backbone, muscles or even their skull.
  • What precautions to take, while working in open fields, as human body is subjected to nagging and devastating pollution all over. Here I would also like to mention about the traffic police that works endlessly on polluted roads, and also the factory labour.
  • RSS is also a knowledge reservoir and can help in the development of small implements that can help poor labourers to exert less, at the same time not bring down their output. Something, like a wheel barrow.
  • Develop Small working aids that can help women in giving equal output as men. One can take the cue from MNREGA where women are paid less basis their output.
  • And if pregnant women have to work what precautions they need to take, and what are the safer jobs which they can perform.
  • Security drills for our hapless working community, especially working ladies.
  • They can even hasten the project of 100% literacy. Which is currently at a level of 75%.

On a more realistic note the girth of this mammoth exercise is going to be stupendous and will touch the heart and mind of every Indian irrespective of caste, creed and religion. For it will be for the Indians in the bottom of the pyramid. Quite, appropriately, for the needy and therefore sterling, noble and even centre of right and left. Surely RSS can make an alternate beginning and see its tinge brighten even further.