The debut novel of Nirvaan Verma, A Monsoon Lament: A Mumbai Romance, shows a lot of promise and scope of further improvement. Four entirely different people live in four separate flats of an apartment complex, The Palm Oasis Residences, in Mumbai. Although much varied than one another in their lifestyles, fears, and hopes, these four people were the same in one aspect: each one of them was equally lost. For instance, Asavari, the housewife — a victim in a loveless marriage — appeared worlds apart from Ravin, the lone painter — living in the past. At the outset, these two characters had nothing in common, yet deep within, they were quite similar. Both Sharat, an entrepreneur, and Evana, a fashion model, establish the agelong words of wisdom of never judging a book by its cover.
Sometimes he treated Asavari as if she was his full-time maid. He would often reprimand her for her misdemeanours and didn’t treat her as his equal.– An excerpt from A Monsoon Lament: A Mumbai Romance by Nirvaan Verma
Nirvaan Verma’s grip on the English language shines through in A Monsoon Lament. There is no doubt that he knows words and uses them just right. Whether describing a scene or sharing his knowledge on a subject, his awe-inspiring vocabulary never ceases to dazzle the readers. The storytelling, however, leaves something to be desired. Even though his knowledge of art, apparel industry, and photography is fascinating, the presentation of the same could have been a tad engaging. For instance, instead of writing down a word-by-word narration of Wikipedia results on a certain topic, the author could have enhanced the experience by producing the same information in the form of an intriguing dialogue. A reader needs exciting incentives to keep on turning the pages; appealing conversations are on the top three of such lists.
But within that orb of darkness ovulating inside her, there was a small flickering beacon of light. It was a feeling she ignored because it made her confront herself and her debauched choices. The light inside her was growing. What was this light, what did it want from her?– An excerpt from A Monsoon Lament: A Mumbai Romance by Nirvaan Verma
Nirvaan Verma has done a commendable job of putting four diverse characters in one story. The dilemma of Asavari, the arrogance of Sharat, the conflicting emotions of Evana, and the restlessness of Ravin provide the audience with the delicious motivation to read on. The characters appear relatable with their believable problems and desires. It is one of the most sought-after characteristics in a book: relatability. Nevertheless, very quickly, the feeling of knowing the characters disappears into thin air. The author had started so strong that it appeared almost unbelievable to see the characters taking a 360-degree turn with no rhyme or reason. The transformation of a timid person into a sexually indulgent one may happen overnight in real life — very rare, but let us assume it does — but in a book, the readers require to make some sense of such a dramatic change. The slow and steady shift in one’s perspective of the world, the events leading up to that shift, and their emotional turmoil when the drastic change happens are some of the crucial elements in a story.
… worldly success is an illusion. It only feeds the ego, making people go astray. She felt that true success is a subjective thing. That contentment and a positive self-image are all that matter.– An excerpt from A Monsoon Lament: A Mumbai Romance by Nirvaan Verma
Evana, for instance, seemed to be the most incomprehensible character. If the narration had included her inner workings at length before her demands for money started, she would have been more relatable. Much like the other characters, the author had started strong with her, and it seemed as though she would become the most compelling character. However, similar to the other characters, she too began showing different colors in every other chapter. But when all is said and done, Ravin is the most consistent character. Even though he couldn’t have held down the fort singlehandedly, he exhibited signs of the most believable of them all.
He was looking for an elegant young lady to pose for him. The only caveat being that her facial features had to match the face of him feminine ideal. A semblance of this face lay obscured in the depths of his mind.– An excerpt from A Monsoon Lament: A Mumbai Romance by Nirvaan Verma
I believe A Monsoon Lament: A Mumbai Romance has a talented author backing it up, who can take the book to unbelievable heights of success. However, to achieve that, the novel needs one round of re-reading and re-writing. One round of critical reading is all that it requires.
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2 Comments Add yours
Nice frank review. A lot of writers think that the first draft is good enough. They don’t realise that it is better to edit and rewrite so that they can create a better book.
An interest review on the book set in Maximum City and exploring relationship. I enjoy the book except laden with rich vocabulary and your critical eye show what it could have been in terms of characterization.