Sunday, June 7, 2015

Review: After All This Time by Nikita Singh

What life offers is one big surprise. Sometimes it comes in the form of surmounting happiness yet sometimes it brings a lot of sorrow to a world of hope. Author Nikita Singh in her latest book "After All This Time" tries to change the notion of society and people themselves who suffer from such deadly sorrows. So how effectively she hits the chord? Let's find out. 

What if you find out it's the end of the road for you? Lavanya gets the shock of her life when she discovers that she's HIV positive. The revelation shakes her out of the monotony that her life has become. It's time for a change. She finally dumps her loser boyfriend, quits her high-paying but extremely demanding job and goes back home to meet her family after nearly seven years. At home she finds a bucket list and she knows it's a sign of what she needs to do. With her is an old neighbor and friend who's just broken off with his girlfriend. Sparks begin to fly! However, what she learns is that you need to really live before you begin to love!

First look at the title and the cover and it looks like more of a dreamy world. The cover is pale and looks more of a formality to the content. The blurb talks about a young girl and her life which has spiraled out of control. The blurb pretty much points out at the idea of what is going to be the meat of the story. 

The story is of Lavanya who has an irritating yet high profile job in the States. Her boss irks her and colleagues shun her. But life is going to get different when accidentally her past demons will present themselves in the present in the form of HIV. So how does she plan to handle it all? Will she return home and confide to her parents? Who is going to be the man of the hour? How Shourya Kapoor her best buddy cum neighbor will act as a mercurial guide? That's what the story is all about. 

Sensitive it becomes when one talks of a person and their suffering, that too coming in the form of a incurable disease. The story is very open at that particular front letting the feeling sink in and let the character blossom under hardships. Is it the end or just the beginning? That's the big question asked and even answered by the end of it. Broken bonds, salvaging of what's left in life and becoming the same old person is a daunting responsibility handled by the book. The tense moments along with dilemmas and confused reactions add to the spice of the story. The tingle is evident in the joys and sorrows all throughout. The darker demons of the past have been dealt with confidence. 

The book fails to garner a high for HIV. It becomes scant and the personal fears and bleak future somehow undermine the sensitivity of the subject. The tenderness of the idea is given wings but only for sometime rather the bucket list concept kills the epic confusion and confrontation of Lavanya, her family and societal stigma. Characters apart from Lavanya and Shaurya do not live up to the potential and faint references only add to their misery. 

All in all a serious push in the right direction is what this book is. Th first step is not always perfect and that's what can be said about the book. On livening up the dreaded life of Lavanya, the book scores all the brownie points but on making it more intense and fearful it fails quite a lot of times. The rise from the ashes is appreciable but the harsh reality is somewhere lost in the midst of avoidance and over indulgence. A mixed affair. 


3 OUT OF 5

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