“His writing style ranges from ardently melodramatic and vividly romantic to quietly philosophical”, is how Samarth Prakash, the author of Rainy Days has been described. When I read this, I had no clue just how melodramatic they were talking about.
Rainy Days (Published by Good Times Pvt. Ltd.), attempts to chronicle the lives and love of Raghav and Megha. They meet at a cricket match that gets rained out. She leaves abruptly, leaving our romantic (in his own eyes) hero holding a lonely umbrella (no double entendre there, I swear). So what does our hero do? He chases her, and finds out where she works, and then proceeds to wait for her below her building for many days till she finally makes an appearance.
*cough stalker creepo cough*
So he strikes up a conversation with her, and eventually tells her that he chased her to the building, and had been waiting for her to make an appearance. Now, if you had been in place of that girl, what would you have done? Walked away? Called the police and got a restraining order against him? At least punched him? Well, our dear heroine, after a few minutes of uncomfortable silence, gets flattered and continues having lunch with him. Come on, girl, the least you could’ve done was at least throw a glass of water in his face before continuing with the lunch!
I don’t really want to get into the rest of the story because then that would mean having to do a quick recap of the story in my mind, and believe me, I don’t want to do that. Suffice to say, she vanishes one fine day, leaving a letter promising to return after five years, and return she does, as a married woman (at this point, I actually said a “serves you right” to the hero, for being such a douchebag).
The problem with this book is not that it romantic or melodramatic. The problem is that it is TOO romantic and melodramatic. I mean, we all love some melodrama and romance, sure. But this dude took it to another level. The characters have been created in such a way that you don’t end up feeling any sort of emotion- pity, affection, happiness, pride- for any of them.
The author should consider rechristening himself as Somewhat Prakash. The word ‘somewhat’ has been used so many times in the book, I started playing a little game while reading the book- how soon will I come across the next ‘somewhat’. I don’t have anything against the word, believe me. But would you like it if a word has been repeated on an average of twice per page? Yes, per page.
The author absolutely loves drawing parallels. As a result, ‘much like’ is a phrase that comes up as often as ‘somewhat’. If Raghav sees sunlight, he’ll connect it in some way to something else. If he sees a butterfly, he’ll connect it with colours of life. Well, the second one is just my contribution, but you get the picture, right? Sample this: The colourful ink on the promising pages of love was wiped out from the book of my life, much like waves that destroy castles built on sand. Err.. what?? This is like Inception. Metaphor within a metaphor within a metaphor.
But if you thought this was bad, sample this. “Our hairs fluttered, almost synchronously, in the evening breeze that was beginning to turn cold. And somehow, in that synced movement of our hairs, the gap that had opened up between S and myself was closed. We were in sync once again, as best friends should always be.” Dude, seriously? You drew a parallel of friendship with the movement of hairs? HAIRS???
Why is the book called ‘Rainy Days’, you wonder? Because it was raining the day they first met, it was raining the day they parted, and it was raining pretty much every single day chronicled in the book. I think I have developed a slight aversion towards rain now. And the hero’s philosophical musings were so blah, that I skipped quite many paragraphs out of sheer disinterest.
And just when you thought the book is over, after Megha comes back and reveals her side of the story, the author brings in a twist. A twist that is so out of place, that it looks as though it was introduced just so that the book wouldn’t be reduced to a mere romance novel.
Grammatically, the book is ok. No major blunders. But the language is so so SO melodramatic, that it gets exhausting after a point. You’ll feel as though you’re walking through a desert in the hot sun, wearing shoes that are three sizes too big for you. Hey! I just drew a parallel! So the book had SOME effect on me after all.
And trust me, dear Samarth Prakash, no love is as blind as you suggest it is in the book. Love is a lot of things, I agree. And people in love do all sorts of crazy things, even I have. But I seriously doubt standing as a false witness to help your old flame who murdered her sister, get acquitted is one of them. This sort of love is not blind, it's just plain stupid. Oopsie. Did I just give away the suspense? Whatever.
I know I’ve been very mean with the review, but I can’t call a bad book good. Ok, maybe I shouldn’t call a bad book bad, either. So let me just say, read it at your own risk. This level of melodrama and romance is just not my cup of tea. But if you don't mind it, then go ahead and give it a shot. Good luck.