Author : Ravindra Shukla
Publisher : Frog Books
A Maverick Heart : Between Love and Life is a difficult book to like, more so when the author maintains a narrative which is agonizingly boring and border line ridiculous. Through three characters - Rahul, Richita and Neerav, students of IIT-B the author tries to bind through their life graphs. Their problems are genuine and mostly practical, their impulsive decisions understandable and there is certain growth of characters which is appreciated as a reader.But all these subtle nuances are buried under a whopping 380 odd pages which is too long by any stretch of imagination for a story of this magnitude. It definitely needed to be short and coherent and the best bits are trapped under long stretches where nothing of significance happen in the story.
When narrating the central theme, the author does make some pertinent points regarding racism in US work places, cultural divide, recession in early 2000s and burden of carrying an IIT tag all along the life. These portions, even though poorly edited still are the best bits in a long and convoluted novel which loses its shine and as we go along, the underlying message somewhere as well. The author eventually grapples with so many unnecessary sub-plots of NGOs, RTIs, social activism and relief operations that you feel like reading from the pages of a diary rather than a book trying to make some sense.
I can understand that this story is based out of real characters and their honest motivations, but poor editing and grammatical structure at all places absolutely mar those sincere intentions. The writing style is easy and usually maintains a brisk pace but inundated with too many details ultimately let it down.
I am going with 2/5 for Ravindra Shukla's 'A Maverick Heart'. Leaving its noble intentions apart, its a hard slog for its audience. Read it if you must.
[The following review is part of "The Reader Cosmos" book review program]