'The Guardian Angels' by Rohit Gore

book, novel

‘The Guardian Angels’ by Rohit Gore is, as the book jacket has it, is the epic and tumultuous story of two star crossed lovers who weren't just soul mates but were also each other’s protectors. Published under The Grapevine Publications, the book is priced at Rs.125. And what appeals at the very first sight and tempts the reader to peek in is the beautiful book cover, designed by Saurav Das.

This is a very emotional story of two characters, Aditya Mehta and Radha Deodhar, their lives both together and apart from each other, starting from their first meeting in school, in the seventh grade, to the early thirties. It is a journey through their days, their years, their dreams and aspirations, their successes and big losses. From their preteen days their fates are entwined together, making them almost inseparable, and the numerous tragedies have drawn them nearer to each other. Their bond is their only solace, and their love is the only thing that they draw inspiration and optimism from.

Adi has to save his sister Heena who’s drowned in drug addiction; deal with his own broken dreams; and come to terms with his parents’ relationship. Radha’s laughing and happy family is becoming quieter day by day as she sees her father slowly succumb to a mysterious genetic disease that runs in her family. She knows, however shattered her world would be, Adi, her guardian angel will be there to protect her. And Adi knows the same of Radha. But with time they understand that their destinies are separate. Amidst clashing ideologies, conflicting viewpoints, different family backgrounds and ambitions that are poles apart, their care for each other is the only thing that they share.

Author Rohit Gore takes us through their worlds mainly in third person narrative and with entries from Radha’s journal which is written in first person, in every chapter. Reading Radha’s journal feels like reading her mind. It has her every stray emotion, every thought that passed her mind, her indecisiveness, her confusions, her love and her fears. Even Adi’s long emails reveal his insecurities and vulnerabilities. The narration is free flowing, and not even once seems constricted. The twenty years in the story are covered with uniform speed in the turn of events, so that nothing seems forced.

I like the writing style in the book- the descriptions, the imageries and the metaphors, and the thought provoking one liners. I sometimes read a paragraph twice, or even thrice, just to enjoy the sheer beauty of the words construed together. The author deals with meetings and partings in a heartrending way. Memories, nostalgia and goodbyes are quite poignant too.

If you are looking for a quick and entertaining metro read, then this is not the book for you. This is a book that deserves time, patience, and involvement on the part of the reader. You need to delve deep into the story and the lives of the characters to appreciate it enough. If you want an emotional story, with no compromise in its literary aspects, then yes, this is it.

This book review is a part of The Write Tribe's Book Review Programme.

author of Guardian Angels


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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