Book Review #54: The Other Guy

Name: The Other Guy
Author: Aakash Mehrotra
No. of Pages: 200
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Jufic Books (An imprint of Leadstart Publishing)
Price: Rs. 249/-
Published in: 2017

How did I get it? From the publisher.

THE BLURB SAYS:
Set in contemporary India, The Other Guy is a tale of forbidden love. Amidst laws which declare them criminals,emotional repression and societal suppression, Nikhil and Anuj are two talented young men, deeply in love with each other. Though polar opposites,they effortlessly complement each other.Anuj had lived a constricted life, always in his fear of the consequences of the truth; Nikhil, a carefree soul, is ready to take on the world. The truth is known only to a few select friends, and to Anuj’s sister.

The novel is about making the hard, heartbreaking choices to allow such a relationship to breathe and survive in a traditional land of rigid taboos. Anuj experiences separation from his family as he surrenders to the questions in their eyes and decides to choose candour over coy; to listen to his desires; to be open and free about it. But it is not the same with his partner, Nikhil. When his mother initiates talk of his marriage, Anuj coaxes Nikhil to take a decision that can scar their lives forever.
 
Do societal diktats run the lives of these gifted young men or does love prevail? Do Anuj and Nikhil have the last laugh, using society against itself, so they can breathe and live as they wish?
 
Nikhil and Anuj’s story is just one of many, most of them buried in the misery of silence. It deserves to be read by everyone who wishes to see a more inclusive world where acceptance and humanity grace our lives.
 
A bold and beautiful book that touches the heart and mind forever.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

MY THOUGHTS:
It is a love story. The only difference from a regular love story is that the lovers are of the same gender. Freshman year, guy meets guy. Courtship follows and they start dating. Secret passionate encounters. True friends, defiant family and rebellious lovers. Some blissful moments and then finally reality strikes.

The protagonists, Anuj and Nikhil, can be anyone. They are in love and dream of spending their lives together. But it is not meant to be. They can never live their true lives out in the open. They have their own hopes and aspirations of having their own family. But they are forced to lead dual lives. Despite all odds, with true friends and sometimes the support of their family, they might just manage to have the last laugh.

The author has touched upon a sensitive issue. LGBT rights and the reality of their situation in a country like ours. The story itself is well-written and has all the elements of a good fast-paced romantic novel.
 
I give “The Other Guy”
 

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