The Aravan Head by Arvind Narsima
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The book is provided by Arudha Club in exchange for a genuine review. The book deals multiple issues at various levels.
One is of Political system is corrupt in India. There are many attempts to correct it but in vain. Since the days of JP movement to Anna Hazare we have seen efforts to cleanse the system but it comes to a naught.
Second is the question of LGBT acceptance in society. The people who are in minority and different due to their sexual makeup or orientation. They are shunned by society and looked down by all and sundry. They live amongst us but not a part of us.
Third is of systemic rot in police department. Police is meant to upheld law and order but they become tools in the hands of politicians, industrialists and Mafiosi to exploit the masses. There is large scale exploitation in the name of water tax, illegal hooch, hafta wasooli (protection money), rape, murders and the police is a mute participant in all these atrocities.
Fourth is theft and smuggling of our ancient heritage in form of idols and other things for money to be sold in foreign countries as antiques at astronomical prices. Thus the name of book “THE ARAVAN HEAD”. Aravan head is an ancient idol in Hijrawan (village of Eunuchs who are called Hijras हिजड़ा in Hindi).
Fifth issue is of Human trafficking. Young gullible girls are sold off in flesh market by ruthless dons and they are never traced. This is because they are sent in other countries.
The story starts with chapters named incidents 1, 2, 3 etc. There are incidents involving various characters like a professor, a wronged woman, her brother, a corporate honcho, wily politicians, mysterious woman who is pimp, corrupt police officers. This sets the tone of the book and our Hero Arya comes late into action. But the entry is impactful and reader comes to know that he is a no non sense officer. Arya foils the bid to steal Aravan Head in Hijrawan and saves life of one Eunuch. They he travels to Delhi on a tip and this sets up a high profile thriller.
The story is a thrill ride from the word go. The canvas is large and it tries to tackle many issues in one book as I detailed above. Inspector Arya is upright, brave, intelligent, resourceful and strong. He is very athletic and has good presence of mind. He is always one step ahead of his rivals. His friends Jagdessh and Gunjan calls him James Bond but Arya identifies more with Sherlock Holmes.
But the canvas is large and Arvind tried to tackle so many issues in one book. The length of book is big at 259 pages that too in small closely spaced font. So it becomes difficult to keep track of so many characters, locations and events for the reader.
Still the book is very good and a must read for lovers of thrill and suspense. I give this book it 4/5 stars.
Where to buy:
A politically driven criminal syndicate tries to steal a valuable ancient artefact, The Aravan Head, from a very old temple of the transgenders in Hijravan. Police officer Arya foils the well planned attempt. The incident unfolds a deadly secret that connects to a series of mind-boggling crimes which points to an unlikely person of tremendous authority in the political & business circles of Mumbai. With his friends kidnapped, his own people involved with the criminals and himself facing departmental enquiry, Arya is strangulated from all sides. Meanwhile in Delhi, 4 college girls, fed-up with the canteen food, hire a cook. While they expect an old, typically professional person, they are in for a great surprise that leaves them sweetly shocked. But the surprise is short lived after a beautiful transgender arrives at their bungalow revealing secrets that baffle them. Unfortunately the lives of the 4 girls become a nightmare along with that of the transgender. Did Arya arrest the main perpetrator behind all the crimes? What dangers did the Transgender bring to the girls? Did they survive the deadly situation they were pushed into? What price did Arya pay to win?
About the author:
Arvind lives in the beautiful city of Pondicherry with his mother, wife and daughter.
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