Title:The Hunt For Kohinoor
Author: Manreet Sodhi Someshwar
Publisher: Westland Ltd.
Number of pages:425
Indian writing has come a long way. This is an undeniable fact that has found a strong foothold among the readers. It really wouldn’t have been possible without a colossal effort of a significant number of new generation authors. It was an idea – when it bloomed. What Chetan Bhagat started, had flowed effortlessly into the main lifeline of the publishing houses, and leafing through Manreet Sodhi Someshwar’ s inspiring piece of work does go a long way in making that idea a step closer to reality.
Hits & Misses & The Structure
I started afresh, this time. Not having read Manreet’s previous good works, I have to say that it took me some time to catch up with the novel’s protagonist’s characterisation. That perhaps helped me get an unbiased view of her writing skills, and how the character is developed through the initial few pages of the book. It did give me a sense of a miss in certain areas, where I felt the overall story telling style lacked lucidity and become unnecessary complex. But again it did not break the rhythm, and I continued leafing through the pages.
The Characterisation Sketches & the Plot
The author here takes us uncharted territories in modern Indian writing, and if I may say, without sounding like a male chauvinistic snob, this coming from a woman, deserves mention. The quintessential rough terrain of the AFPAK region has been so wonderfully depicted in this book, that it draws a few comparisons with some of the more established or critically acclaimed writers. And trust me Manreet has been able to transport you right into the centre of the lovelorn country ravaged for hundreds of years by war, poverty and terrorism. Mehrunisa, the main protagonist here, has only 96 hours to save her country from an imminent disaster waiting to happen. As her quest for her lost father’s search lands her in the RAW office, she comes to terms with a life changing reality. And she being the hardened woman sees that reality pass, with her being an integral part of the 96 hour saga. The book is dotted with thrilling incidents at regular intervals, and enough to keep you at the tenterhooks. Manreet has shown immense character, in laying out the foundation of the base characters. The headman of the Indian espionage system played by Jag Mishra, although a sketchy in the beginning, makes up for it, as the book progresses.
The single biggest thing that pleased me about the book is that all the character sketches were believable, realistic and straight onto the reader’s face – an integral part of any book that is missing in so many recent Indian writings.
Writing Style and Storytelling
Another major point that I wanted to make is, the author’s style of writing – paced, appropriate breaks and relief situations, and her charismatic quality of shifting in between the scenarios. In fact, it took quite a while to understand the number the plots and sub plots she was hatching in the initial paragraphs of the book. But yes, once you get the hang of it, you will flow along. The plot is sound, robust and very few loose ends. Although I don’t really concur with the climax, and I felt the need to rush through certain is not needed, at least when it is a book and the reader is savouring the delicacy taking his own sweet time. But again, everybody has their own needs and style.
Final Verdict: It is a GOOD READ.
This book receives thumbs up from dream peddler, definitely! Apart from a few sketchy characters, a couple of loose ends, this makes good read, during a 4 hour long flight from Calcutta to Mumbai. This book has enough inside it, to keep you gripped, enchanted and especially if you are a woman, you would definitely feel that this place is a tough one for them. Beautifully scripted, wonderfully executed and acclaimed.
The official book trailer: The Hunt for Kohinoor.