Book Review:Never Say Goodbye …. Bonds Are Forever
Author: Rajiv Seth
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Reviewer: Vinod Kaul
Love is an evergreen theme for writers and for a large section of readers who tirelessly pour over the human drama around this. Writers can veer towards a mushy romance, a clever plot, or a social critique, or merely as a backdrop to write about a new area of interest. The author, Rajiv Seth, has chosen the last, weaving an entire love-story to talk about Genetics and concerns relating to the Human Genome Project. With legions having flogged the ‘love’ angle, a new writer has to devise a ploy or a perspective that is refreshingly different. ‘Has Mr. Seth succeeded?’ is the million dollar question.
Aakash and Anjali literally bump into each other as neighbors. Love is the last thing on their mind as the former has turned away from relationships and the latter is married to someone she chose on an impulse. Both the key protagonists are doctors with common areas of interest and sensibilities. Aakash gives car lifts to Anjali and thus their interest in each other blossoms. The story follows the eventual culmination into a torrid romantic relationship. Mercifully, Anjali’s car-mechanic- video-game junkie-husband, Sunil, remains oblivious throughout. However, societal norms remain etched in stone and lover Akash has to make a final exit. Only in the latter part of the novel the author etches into the story his well researched inputs on DNA and Genetics.
Akash’s father comments succinctly:
‘… the married woman in India, son … she would take small jumps with you, and you would find it thrilling. But when it comes to taking the big leap, her morals will always win. Ultimately, you will only hurt yourselves.’
The book is set with moral undertones and critiques the middle-class mindset. While the heroes of the novel rise above this, they are unable to break their societal bonds.
To its credit, the novel is fast-paced, crisp and an easy-read, does not dawdle on too much mush considering it is a ‘love-story’; and it is interspersed with sensitive poetry. Perhaps the writer should consider publishing his collection of poems. As a debutant writer, Rajiv Seth’s literary output is truly commendable.
About the writer – Rajiv Seth is an aeronautical engineer from IIT Kanpur with a Masters from IIT Chennai and a Doctorate in Business Administration (Finance). He has served in the Indian Air Force. Seth is currently with the Teri University. Writing has been his indulgence since very young, and clearly he is a poet too. Besides, Seth is a self-confessed gourmet-chef in the making, currently polishing the craft on his daughter.
About the reviewer – Vinod Kaul is an alumnus of St.Stephen’s College, Delhi and IIM, Ahmedabad. While he originally hoped to become an astronomer, he went on a tangent into the hurly-burly of the corporate sector, albeit somewhat reluctantly, with a career panning top firms across Canada and India. He has also headed the Fashion Design Council of India that brings out the India Fashion Week.
Kaul chucked it all up to launch his entrepreneurial venture Newsvision, to publish online, niche reportage on the retail, fashion and luxury sectors. The enterprise brought out the closet-writer in him, and he has since been churning out short-stories, shortly to be published.
Vinod is currently an independent management consultant, who discovered long distance running at the age of 58 and has a number of marathons and ultras under his belt.