Love Forever @ Rajpath by Kalpana Mishra
Why do I call a book, a good book? Because it is about 300 odd pages and large enough to keep you engrossed for a week? Do I call it a good read because it makes you turn the pages and never let you put it down? Well, I think, the good thing about a book should be that it deals with various emotions…all imaginable, of battles fought within, and things that the author manages to leave you feeling, like, you know the characters inside-out and understand them. Yes, for me, a good book should let you place yourself in the character’s shoes.
Kalpana Mishra’s first attempt at fiction, “Love Forever@Rajpath” is one such book, where you feel empathetic towards the characters all along. The characters are you, me and everyone. They speak our language, they think just like us, and they are fallible too… The story is about two people, Shalini a Sindhi Girl and Kartik, her collegue with Bihari Roots and the love that blossoms between them. The book is about their relationships, their life, set in the background of the Government Sector. It is very much set in the contemporary India. The story do has a filmi set up with the Boy meets Girl, both fight with each other, and then make up only to fall in love with each other finally. However, the filminess ends there itself.
The story takes a different turn when Kartik suddenly goes missing and Shalini digs out some dark realities about Zabaria Shaadi, where the boys are kidnapped and forcibly married. Shalini, who till now, was scared to go out of Delhi in the group study tour manages the courage to go all alone to a remote village in Bihar to rescue her love.
The sketching of the characters were amazing, and the main protagonist, Shalini’s life, on which the story is woven, is the reason, why I stay hooked onto the book. The other characters are also exciting and they add to the book in amazing ways. The book is a huge metaphor that juxtaposes the old values with modern ones. Love, honesty, family affections, the Government setup and as mentioned before, the contemporary Delhi interwoven with rural Bihar.
Having read the book, I could highlight some USPs of the book, being the plot itself, which is a first of the kind, having set up with a Government background, the backdrops of Zabaria Shaadi custom in Bihar. The language and the flow of the book is simple for a first time reader and at the same time is captivating enough to keep the avid reader engrossed.