THE FORTUNE HUNTERS
AUTHOR: Aslam Rahaman
NO. OF PAGES: 177
FIRST PUBLISHED IN 2012 BY FROG BOOKS
‘The Fortune Hunters’, Aslam Rahaman’s debut novel is a cross cultural Hindu-Muslim love story set in modern day India.
The plot-Aamir,a young Muslim is a happy go lucky guy who falls in love with Ragini who belongs to a conservative Hindu family.Set in New Delhi ‘The Fortune Hunters’ is the touching saga of their love which crosses all barriers of religion.The story is narrated in part by Aamir,the protagonist and by an omniscent narrator. The story leaps back and forth in time over a five year period.Though the book has got a wafer thin story line the twists and turns happening at regular intervals and the witty one liners makes this one a real page turner.
The Characters-The book is basically the love story between Aamir,an MBA graduate(thankfully no college sequences are there in this book!) and Ragini,a young Brahmin girl.Aamir’s friends Devesh and his friend Manjari,Rohit,Aamir’s brother Sohail, are some of the other characters.What I found brilliant about this book is how the lead characters were built – tangible, and believable.Aamir is the typical middle class North Indian boy while Ragini is the small town conservative Hindu-Brahmin girl.The other notable character is that of Manjari,the smart chick.
The writing-The language is pretty simple which makes the book an easy read.The author who is very well aware of his target audience hasn’t resorted to unnecessary wordplays or other gimmicks.Most importantly this work is devoid of the clitches that is often associated with a book of this genre.The protagonists don’t try to be ‘cool’ as it’s often the case with the routine MBA/college love stories these days.Rahaman’s Aamir and Ragini are normal middle class Indians whom the average reader can easily connect with.The book is peppered with witty one liners and some really interesting incidents which is sure to go down well with the Young urban reader.The scene where Aamir discovers the Bengali cuisine on his first visit to a kolkatta restaurant is genuinely hilarious.Similarly the marriage scene of Aamir and Ragini has also been narrated really well.So were the climactic sequences happening inside the court room.Though Aslam has succeded in telling the love story between Aamir and Ragini in a convincing and entertaining manner it is a pity that the author hasn’t bothered to dwell into the age old Hindu-Muslim cultural differences when he had enough opportunity to do so.
On the downside the book suffers from un necessary detailing at places(the Sofi-Tabassum episode) whereas some vital incidents in the story gets very little importance(the scene in which Aamir discovers the truth about Ragini’s friend Madhu).Corny lines are also there in plenty.For instance,in a particular scene (when Aamir is teased by Pinaki on his one night stand with Manjari) Aamir delivers this corny gem-”Virginity is never dignity but it’s a lack of oppurtunity’.Repetition of some phrases and the minor grammatical errors which creeps in between also hampers the free flow of the narrative.The excessive usage of technical jargon at places could also have been avoided. Anyways at a time when atrocious works like ‘Revolution 2020′ are turning out to be the best sellers I believe Aslam Rahaman has got a winner in ‘The Fortune Hunters’.
Rating- 3/5( A decent debut)
(Aslam Rahaman is a young financial professional based in New Delhi where he lives with his wife and his son.’The Fortune Hunters’ is his first published work.This is an author requested review)