Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Review: Of Love And Politics by Tuhin A Sinha

By John Cheeran
The conviction with which young, urbane Indians take to writing in English leaves one shaken and stirred. The fact that there are publishers to ink such stuff should make many aspiring writers reach for their notebooks and netbooks.
Tuhin A Sinha has come up with his third novel, Of Love And Politics, which he modestly describes as ‘his most ambitious work till date.’ May be. But let’s have first things first. Editors at Hachette India could have done a better job and avoided instances such as “Aditya thinks of me as his girlfriend. The mismatch makes us converse about everything under the sun, expect us.”
Sinha, apparently, has tried to pull off a Rang De Basanti of a paperback through Of Love and Politics. Despite doing some research, Sinha’s writing exposes himself as politically naïve and not one with enough experiences in love either. PowerPoint presentations and punctuating pages with names of leaders of national political parties would not make a political novel. Sinha fails to offer any insights into the Indian political theatre or into the life and times where we love and live.
The author banks too much on contemporary political events to anchor the love triangle among Aditya Samar Singh, Chaitali Sen and Brajesh Ranjan, the youth brigade in Congress, CPI (M) and BJP respectively.
There, however, is no doubt about the kind of reader Sinha is targeting. There is the young, metro professional with his sneering cynicism towards the political class and yearning for change. Sinha, by getting Aditya, Chaitali and Branjan to walk out of their ‘outdated’ political franchises and launching a new party, Nation Building and Development League, fulfills the fantasy of the young middle class India. Finally, letting the central characters speak for themselves is not such a bad narrative idea but, in this instance, Sinha leaves the reader wondering whether he should turn the page at all.
Title: Of Love And Politics. Author: Tuhin A Sinha
Publisher: Hachette India


koraldasgupta said...

I just finished reading Of Love And Politics, and googled out to find out more since I was impressed by the novel. Unfortunately I came across your blog and following are some of my thoughts:
1. Did you ever aspire to write but could never come out with a topic that is good enough?
2. Did you send a manuscript to any publishing house (may be Hachette) and got rejected?
3. Were you feeling dwarfed at the thought that with your multi-faceted experience you could not come out with a potential idea like Of Love And Politics?
4. Do you feel upset when you see good work happening around?

The above were just a feeble attempt to understand the reason of your frustration. I am not interested, but just thought I would let you know that the blog sounds like the mourning of an incapacitated looser.

I am sure you would not have the courage to acknowledge or approve this comment on your blog; no person of your mental health can do it. But that yould just justify my words above. So, no offense.

Good luck!


Ravi Srivastava, New Delhi

SandSekh said...

WoW! - The post above is jus awesome!
I mean, A guy just cant blog his opinions these days without being called "incapacitated looser". I really wish you a speedy recovery :)

Coming back to the post, I jus had a chance to pick up the book, and wanted to read a quick review. :)

Manoj said...

Mate haven't read the book, so can't agree or disagree with your view. But publishers these days are looking for stuff that has 'mass appeal' (hate that phrase). There's something about the arts in India, be it film, TV or books, appealing to the lowest common denominator without aiming to offer any insight.

Anyway just thought the bloke who wrote the first comment was a bit of prick...

John Cheeran at Blogged