“I feel most romantic relationships end, not because two people can’t make it work anymore, but most of the time we keep pinning over the initial thrill and excitement that falling in love provides…”
Siddharth, one of the characters from Sood’s debut novel, quotes the lines above, in one of his letters to Gautam. Although there are innumerable lines spread across the pages of the book which have stolen a piece of my heart, as I read the last few pages of the novel, these were the lines which really hit me. There is a painful truth breathing in the above lines; a truth about why some relationships annihilate.
Sahil Sood conjures an unconventional love story. The novel moves back and forth in time. Through this entangled movement of the plot, Sood presents to us a romantic relationship between two men which begins with immense intensity and through the course, begins to fizzle out. Saaransh who is head over heels in love with Akshay, towards the end of the novel the reader witnesses the wounds caused by the withering away of their relationship, consuming Saaransh wholly. During this period of suffering, Saaransh spends the night with a stranger. This encounter with the stranger ignites a part of his past. The manner in which the narrator describes the deteriorating state of Saaransh, personally, it reminded me of a scene from the 2012 movie The Perks of being a wallflower. But what I admire about Saaransh is that, he did not choose to continue suffering in a relationship which had begun to wilt away, but chose to bring himself out of the suffering.
But their love story isn’t the central part of the novel. The novel speaks about how the written word can bring solace in the lives of some people. It can bring meaning to their lives and give them a reason to exist.
The writing for me, is one of the reasons which made me want to read Sood’s debut novel. It made the novel a worthwhile read. The manner in which he writes about the classics through his characters, speaks volumes about the abundance of knowledge living within the writer. The name of each of the chapters, gives a hint of what the chapter is all about. This is a book everyone must indulge in.