Book Journey: When She Smiled
|Genre:||Teenage Love, Drama|
|Book Name:||When She Smiled|
The title of this book When She Smiled suggested another run-of-the-mill love story where boy meets girl and vice versa, with both falling in love with each other and then living happily ever after. However, the book is not just simply a chick flick with Ritoban Chakrabarti describing the meaning of relationships and love seen through the prism of a 15-year old boy.
The beauty of Shimla and Kasauli and the mesmerizing walks along the roads cast a surreal effect on the reader. The author has revealed each scene in great details. However, this comes as the shortcoming of the book as it’s a rather slow moving and every time it seemed to pick tempo, it slowed down inexplicably. Still I felt some characters were introduced just for the sake of it, like the elder sister Ashima.
To talk the positives of this paperback, even if you have not been to Himachal Pradesh, you cannot help but visualize scenarios out of the book. Of people living in a different time-zone in remote areas, aloof to mobile connectivity and social networking. How getting pocket money was a rarity and those spent on candies or video games. Of people still getting used to brands and higher priced items because of the associated tags.
Going through the turmoil of teenage crush, love, heartbreaks and humiliations, Mrityunjoy Roy, the protagonist of the story comes to terms with his destiny. The love in question being Akanksha, who seemingly turned from a sweet girl into taking everything for granted, and in the end turned out to be another victim of rumors. The mellow numbers and the poems cast a shadow where it fits like a Bollywood movie. Holding hands, saying sweet nothings and day-dreaming was all it meant for one to be the happiest. Overcoming embarrassment of being made fun of one’s name, the slogging through the Sainik School and the silly talks of school days, the book offers aplenty to keep you going.
The ending, however, seems abrupt, to complete just for the sake of it and does not match with the tempo of the start. Like the author himself got bored in the end. And this way, you complete the book in 3 hours too short.
In life, a few things are always left unattended and where you cannot explain your part of the story to others and cannot claim ownership in any way possible of what they think about you. And how obsession over anything or any person is never good.
In conclusion, I would rate this book as an average read and recommended for light reading. This book would have been better with a crisper editing. Still, congratulations to the author for his debut novel.
I would recommend this for the teenage group who still believe in puppy love. Or the ones still not spoiled by the life travails. Or simply, for one who wants to go back to older times because they may have experienced parts of the story themselves or would have heard from their friends’ experiences.