Friday, 1 March 2013

When the Signal Turns Red by Jayanand Ukey - Book Review

Publisher’s write-up:

‘Girish and Prajakta are in love. Very soon Girish will be joining the numero uno IT company of the country. He prepares himself by buying expensive clothes and other accessories he had always dreamed of. He and Prajakta have together planned to build on a good bank balance and then meet each other’s families to talk about marriage, probably after a year or two. Unexpectedly, the families get involved before Girish can join the IT company. Against all odds, the couple manages to convince their family and an engagement date is fixed. But destiny has other things in mind. A global catastrophe mars their plan which leads to the engagement getting annulled.

Will Girish find a way out of his predicament? Will he ultimately win Prajakta’s hand or will he move on in life, learning to live without her?’

When the Signal Turns Red is a romance novel which happens to be the first work of the author, Jayanand Ukey that has been published. I’ve never tried the genre before, but this being a direct request from the author himself, I accepted it.

Girish, a 22 year old who has completed his graduation, is about to join a leading IT company, DCL. He is in love with his college mate, Prajakta, and they wish to get married after working for some years, but, the girl’s parents find out about Girish and the families fix their engagement. However, their plans are in turmoil as both have lost their jobs, owing to the recession and the Prajakta’s father breaks off the engagement.
It is quite a short story, with just 198 pages expressed in simple words, and thus, a person who is really fast at reading might finish reading the book in ninety minutes. However, speed being my inherent limitation, I took me two days to complete the book. I liked it how this was so unlike the other Indian love stories in Indian films, with both the lovers actually being qualified and their parents actually agreeing to their choice without much discussion. The plot was simple and straight forward, without many digressions or sub-plots and the characteristics of the two families were brought out well. Moreover, I liked how the author chose the financial crisis as the background and with the author himself being in the IT sector, he is someone who’d understand it best, the loss of jobs in the IT sector which started in 2008. My favourite part about the whole thing was that I was promised a light read, and it was delivered, with precision.

However, on the flipside too, I’ve a lot of points. While I praised the simplicity of the author’s writing, I found the sentences to be too short, doesn’t even give the reader a chance to enjoy the flow of the words. Moreover, I wasn’t particularly pleased with the character building, even that of the protagonists, Girish and Prajakta. While I liked the background being the financial crisis, I felt the description of the same was over-simplified. And the last being the finish, till then, the story was going normally, events that took place were plausible, but the finish (which I’m certainly not at liberty to disclose), unfortunately was like any other typical Indian film. But I’m sure that for many readers, these points are not so relevant and this book certainly has a strong audience.

Overall, I felt that it was a good attempt from a first time author, who had a good story to tell, but the only bone of contention being that the same could have been expressed better. For coming up with a good idea for a story, my minimum rating is a six on ten. 

Rating – 6/10

Have a nice day,

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