‘That thing called LOVE’ by Tuhin A Sinha ; Srishti Publishers & Distributors pp.238; Rs. 100
It is amazing that there is a host of young raconteurs emerged in recent years showing their ability to create interest in Indian writing in English through fiction. With the opportunities aplenty for a talented writer, it is not difficult for a charmingly talented youngster like Tuhin A Sinha to venture into active prose creating dynamic characters.
Reading his first novel ‘that thing called LOVE’ is quite an engaging experience. It is factually not a mystery thriller or a pure candy floss love story. It is a love story showing the term ‘love’ in myriad shades and lights.
The protagonist Mayank works for the new generation software company thematchmaker.com which is not doing that well. He is in the marketing side and he was fixed with a target as well as ultimatum to make a business within a month or else loose the job. His marriage with Rewa fixed, he has to do something to retain the job and his personal doubt about his choice of fiancée drives him into a strange acquaintance with Revathi, an older, happily married but intelligent and pretty woman who helps him by giving him an order for a substantial amount for her company ‘Shagun’ an exclusive wedding mall.
The casual relationship culminates into a close friendship and almost turning into obsession for Mayank. As expected Mayank’s intrusion creates confusion in Revathi’s family and she drifts from her husband Pranav who is suffering from a bad time in his profession. There are other couples like Anil and Rupali, Vishal-Gargi, Mayank’s intelligent fiancée Rewa, a rich gay man Akash and Tina, a sexy receptionist.
However, the major part of the book deals with the development of relationship with Revathi and Mayank and how Mayank almost coerces Revathi at every stage to continue his friendship. The novel is definitely a depiction of the changes taking place culturally and practically in life styles, relationships, role of sex in marriage. One cannot but feel that most of us make our lives happy, miserable, complicated or contended only by our acts though there is the play of the invisible hand called fate which directs us to do.
Tuhin’s writing carries the freshness, simplicity and forthright attitude of the younger generation. His narration whether it is an emotional sequence, a stretched out meandering conversation or love making (homo or hetero) is uninhibited. The story also reveals the undercurrent of disconcerting situations any marriage has to face and the inexplicable complexities of human psyche and relationships. Not a thriller but the reader cannot keep the book down because of the sincere tenor of the language throughout if not racy.
The quotes of Sahir Ludiyanvi, Nida Fazli, Javed Akhtar add special spice to the proceedings. One also get the feel of going around Mumbai and its suburbs, feel the pleasure and pain of the monsoon all connected effortlessly with the flow of the novel. One quote on love and friendship by Tuhin (or taken from somewhere) is quite memorable; oneday love and friendship met; Love asked ‘Why do you exist if I already exist?’ Friendship replied ‘To put a smile where you leave tears’.
A sad love story with an apparently happy ending; sounds oxymoron? Read the novel, you will agree with me.
That Thing Called Love by Tuhin Sinha