The book is provided by Arudha Club in exchange for a genuine review.Rafflesia: The Banished Princess by Gautam
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Life is real and fantasy is not. But in case of mental illness like depression there is tendency to escape. When the reality becomes too harsh to face person withdraws in a fantastic world. This does not solve the problem but helps to keep the sanity.
Apruva Sharma aka Appu is a shy, timid, introvert and depressed person. He has his own reasons like his wife Jharna. She married him for a brief period under duress and pressure of her parents. She can’t stand him and wants to dissolve the marriage. Appufather Abir and mother Trina raised him with love and care. Abirplays Violin and so does Appu. Vikram is an Army captain and is floored by Abir Violin recital. They become friends and Vikram is posted to their town. Vikramvisits them with his wife Amla and son Rahul. This is the start of a lifelong friendship of Appu and Rahul. Rahul is unlike Appu and they become like brothers. Then Appu moves to Netherlands and start his job there. He has relatives Jeet and his wife Sujata there. Misha is Appu’srakhi sister and she is having the same story of marital discord as Appu. Nothing much happens after that and it’s a prod.
The story is tedious, boring and protracted. It is sad and depressing. Most of the characters are sad God knows why. Amla doesn’t smile. Misha is angry is sad. So is many other motley characters. There are so many of them I lost track. Appu is most depressed and idiotic as expected from hero of a depressing novel.
The story moves between his childhood and present in alternate chapters. This breaks the flow but then it is writer’s prerogative how to keep the chronology and how to tell the story.
The story of Raffelesia comes in the late and it had no connection with his story whatsoever. At least I can’t see the connection. Maybe there is one.
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The curtains draw up. Lights are dimmed. The musical is about to begin. As the beautiful princess descends on stage, the mythical creatures from her kingdom come alive. Flickers of brilliant coloursblaze across as mesmerizing music pulsates from one corner of the theatre to the other. A fairy tale is about to unfold
As young children, we often come across things that stay in our hearts forever. For Appu, it is a fairy tale about a beautiful princess. He lives with her in a world ﬁlled with the magical creatures from her kingdom until the real world beckons. A reluctant Appu steps into it as a striking young man and struggles to ﬁnd his place.
What follows is an evocative tale of love and loss, friendship and betrayal, as the story travels through the snow-peaked mountains of Arunachal to the golden deserts of Jaisalmer, the tulip gardens of
Holland to the lush greens of Kerala. Does Appu ﬁnd what he had set out for? The answer lies in Rafﬂesia — The Banished Princess because in her story, lay his!"
About the author:
A B-School graduate, Gautam is a business analyst by profession. Considers the laptop as among his best friends and nurses a secret desire to turn an entrepreneur someday.
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