I am done reading the 4th book of the year this weekend and I am quite happy with the way it's moving right now. And this time I picked up Nikhil Kushwaha's 3rd book, "Heart of Bullets", which is published by one of the recently founded publication- Petal. The cover page of the book is indeed appealing and even the title. The book is basically about story of a soldier and his past life. It is spoken by one of his friends who also joins the army along with him and has been his friend since 2nd grade. I liked the idea of how author chooses one of the friend who always lost the race against his friend as the protagonist to tell the story and still kept the main hero of the book in the character of the friend who wins every time but leads a sad life through out.
I liked how the book begins with a scene based at LoC which gives a feel that we are about to read story of some great characters. A life of soldier during their vacations is also narrated in the initial chapter itself and you can surely relate with it if you know someone who is in army. And later on when the book moves towards the hero of this book- SAM, the tone of the story telling changes and becomes little mature. I liked how author has developed his character as intense and someone who keeps quiet with out letting anyone knows what pain and loneliness he feels within. And after a point of time, the book goes into a long flashback where his life is talked in detail.
And that's when I found this book going into the right direction but got really disappointed to read the whole teenage and immature love story once again. And author has narrated the whole thing in such details that it becomes irritating and unwanted after some time. Few scenes are surely worth reading but over all, I feel that it could have been cut shorter by almost half the length at which it is currently written. Coming to the climax, it is quite filmy which does not sound realistic from anywhere and therefore, you do not relate with it. Yes, indeed it is emotional and you will find yourself emotional but something that you'll soon find funny as it's quite like Bollywood of 90s when such things were done in the end to make you become emotional and feel good about the creation of the artist.
Nikhil has a great talent of writing which definitely gets proven in few of the scenes that he have written. The poems in the book are also very nicely woven but I felt they are inserted more than they were actually needed in the story. His passion for writing can be surely felt whenever he wrote regarding the life of soldier at the battle field and all the scenes he have written related to them are better and worth reading. Coming to the editors and publishers, I feel that the book is very badly edited with lots of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Also, the same story could have been completed successfully in about 240-250 pages but it seems nothing is edited out from what writer submitted as the final draft. Little effort on this front could have helped this book. I give it 2.5 stars and it surely reflects author's pure intention towards writing it. Kudos to that!
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ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU!!!