Title : S.T.A.L.K.E.D.
Author: Girvani Dhyani
Publisher: Harper Collins, India
She starts the first chapter with an ominous ‘you are not alone’ and a splotch of black, which the fertile imagination guesses is blood of course, and thereby kicks off a tale of intrigue in first person. For a debut novel, the writer Girvani Dhyani has got off to a promising start.
Set in South Delhi, the protagonist Tara Bakshi’s work life pressures, the office intrigues, the caricatures of office colleagues, the watchman, and the hint of menace with a stalker at large, the story unravels across the 181 pages. There is earnestness in the details, and Dhyani has taken care to keep it all real. Too real. Tara checks and rechecks the documents, and not sure if she should point out the discrepancy to the boss. It might show her in a bad light? The vulnerability is touching. The bonding with Riya, her best pal at work, the concerned family in the background, the stuck lift, the ‘what’s happening with me’ exasperations of a young girl struggling to keep her head and her job. The writer has incorporated her first hand experiences as a young attorney at her first job in a law firm.
First timers do tend be autobiographical. But then, a story is about life, people and real life situations, and so long as it is gripping, it works just fine. Girvani Dhyani is an attorney based in New York. She also has a Master’s in Corporate Law from the London School of Economics. We do hope the young and pretty Dhyani will not digress from her new-found status as a novelist, and attempt another. How about court room dramas? We do love those. And she knows the law.