Saturday, May 02, 2009

Knots and No Crosses - A Review

This is a review of the book in the context of the recent "successful debutant Indian author" phenomena.

Debutant Indian Authors
Debutante Indian authors have been making quite some waves recently. The seeds may have been sown with Anurag Mathur's 'The Inscrutable Americans', but there was a hint of a lull thereafter. The current scenario, however, has changed. Right from Chetan Bhagat becoming the reflection of the young Indian voice, to Arvind Adiga picking the Booker on debut, a section of modern Indian fiction seems to be coming of age. This shift is also characterised by changes in language, flow and appeal of the content. The urban woman oriented themes, clubbed as 'chick lit', are becoming more rampant and gaining popularity. Books like 'Almost Single' by Advait Kala, that has sold around 2000 copies by now, or the lesser known 'Pink or Black' by Tishaa, both debut novels, reflect this trend.
To add to this, is the trend of blogging that is proving to be a wonderful platform for a number of aspiring authors to test and hone their craft before attempting anything mainstream. So we have the likes of Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, trying her pen via the blog 'The Complusive Confessor' and then landing a contract with a major publication for her debut novel 'You Are Here'.

Knots and No Crosses - The Book
Hitesha Deshpande, making her debut with the book "Knots and No Crosses", falls in a similar league. Having had a strong following on her blog 'Wild Imagination' (just one of over 5-6 well read fiction blogs that she has created over last few years), she has now come up with her debut novel. The brevity of her narration and her tact of connecting multiple threads of a story, and literally forcing the reader to remain glued to the book is most notable. The way the author connects one chapter to the other and how the story moves back and forth in time in a smooth and exciting manner displays her instinctive craftsmanship at story telling. Amusingly titled as 'Knots and No Crosses', roller coasters could learn a thing or two from this one hell of a reading ride.
The story is about a young small town lad called Akkie and his multiple relationships in life, culminating into the holy grail of an intended perfect wedding. A wedding that nightmarishly turns out to be almost everything except, perfect. The book captures multiple emotions and thought processes of the characters in a hilarious and crisp manner. Right from the comical description of the parental pressure of marital expectations and the ways to avoid them, to the almost insane behavior of a bride getting cold feet right before the day of the wedding, the book pulls you into its plot page by page. Weaved in between the wedding drama, is the past of this small town boy with big dreams, his multiple relationships and how he grows through them. Each relationship teaching him something about life, each relationship giving him something except what he wanted, but all of them ripping his emotions apart with equal mercilessness. The tagline of the book wonderfully captures the thought - 'Heartbreak after heartbreak, he still dreams of a perfect wedding...'.

The story is imaginatively rich with anecdotal details and displays good understanding of the subtleties of human behaviour on the author's part. For eg. this scene at the dinner table where young Akki has decided to boldly express to his father (and uncles) his intent of moving out of Jodhpur, to go to Pune to study Commerce and Germen, while the "women hovered around pretending to serve, but not wanting to miss out on even a bit of this exchange. It would make excellent gossip as they dried mangoes for their pickles on the terrace, the next afternoon."
The book also grips you with an interesting unexpected twist that makes it all the more worthwhile a read. Without revealing much more of the plot, let me just say that this book is a great fun read, where each chapter makes you crave for the next and you can't stop until you are done with it all! If you are the type looking for a light humorous gripping read, and don't care that time flies by while you are at it, then this is just the right thing to pick. Once you pick it up, you just can't put it down!

Book Site -

I am sure all of you will enjoy "Knots and No Crosses". You are welcome to share your reviews of the book. The same shall be published on the book website.


oo7 said...

i will get one signed by her personally.

Calvy said...

Little did I know! The lady has a published book under her kitty and that too with rave reviews...can't wait to read it.

Calvy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Intellectual Property - Beware