Now-a-days, if you plan to enter a bookstore or to browse Flipkart/Infibeam to pick up at least 2-3 Fiction novels by Indians, you will be disappointed to see that almost every synopsis/blurb of the book has a common word in them “Love” or “Romance”. No one is trying to come out of that comfort zone and write something else. No, it is not that I or majority of readers aren’t romantic or we hate the process of love but we don’t want to read the same thing that we are experiencing in our own life or seeing it happening with our best friend. We want to read some thing that has some thing new to explore, even if it is of the same genre. And this time, I was surprised to read the debut novel by a Diploma degree holder in Civil Engineering, CAD specialist, an architect- Mayur Patel who resides in Valsad, Gujarat with his family. The name of the book is- “Vivek and I”.
Yes, the book’s name may sound weird as I found it to be after seeing its cover page. But, as the name suggests, this is not a normal love story between a Girl and a Boy, but it is about the liking of the protagonist- Kaushik for his student- Vivek. He finds him too attractive and he wants to get him as his partner any how. He is still recuperating with the break up that he had with his ex-boyfriend- Krishna who was bisexual. Vivek sees Kaushik as a very good teacher, friend, well wisher, respectable personality and philosopher. This keeps Kaushik away from opining his heart to Vivek and tell him about his sexual approach and how much he loves him. And with this dilemma in Kaushik’s mind about his love for Vivek-who is straight gives birth to this book- “Vivek and I”.
The author has fine English, awesome in parts. He has embedded few new words that will help reader to get acquainted with those words. The way he has defined nature is unique and descriptive. You will fall in love with it. The way he has narrated the dilemma in a Gay’s mind is commendable. Moreover, he also states about the physical braveness that a gay has for other good looking boys. He has stated it neatly that being gay is not only about being physical, but in some cases, it is also about love with the same gender. The insertion of too many characters in the book does not cause a confusion, and I credit Mayur Patel extremely for this, because whenever a book consists of too many characters, you tend to get confused but he has done it so accurately that you remember each and every name with their role in the book. The scenes of Kaushik with Desai’s and Gavit’s is so sweet and palpable. The love that Vidya has for Kaushik makes a reader like Vidya over the protagonist- Kaushik. The scene when a girl’s parents come to know about her being a lesbian is so real. The emotions that Kaushik has for Vivek is being handled appropriately. While, Mayur Patel has tried to state in this book that the character turned gay because of a child sex abuse scenario that happened with him, I have doubt if this is the only reason for men being gays.
Coming to the major drawbacks of the book- If you divide this book into 3 equal parts, I would say that the 2nd part is dragged too much. The book is of 378 pages, but if the author would have cut it shorter by 100 pages, it would have been fine. The story gets repetitive for number of times. The flashback to Kaushik-Krishna’s love story makes you hate the attempt of the author. After first 150 pages, you feel like leaving the book in the middle because of the slow pace of story. The book has less conversation, that is good, but it also has useless description of some scenes/elements that wasn’t required at all. Describing the same thing in the same manner after every 10 pages does not interests a reader. I was disappointed with the book in the middle of it but the last 100 pages of this book is a gem. And I would recommend you to read this book only for the last 100 Pages and for the topic that Mayur Patel has chosen for his debut novel. I give this book 3/5 over all. To the last 100 Pages, I give it 3.75/5.
Buy it- HERE
ABHILASH RUHELA – VEERU