Monday, 24 March 2014

Book Review: The Curse of that Night by Rochak Bhatnagar

Source: Google Images

Author: Rochak Bhatnagar

ISBN: 9789380914664

Binding: Paperback

Publisher: General Press

Number of pages: 186

Genre: Fiction

Language: English

Price: Rs.140 (Got a review copy from publishers)


About the book
Aarti, who is under the care of her brother Darsh, is brutally gang raped. This dark incident leads to Abhijeet, Malvika, Darsh and Aarti to be caught in a web which is the corrupt political system. There is no telling whether justice will be given to Aarti.

About the author

Rochak’s first novel Love Happens only Once, published in 2011 became a national bestseller within a couple of months. Rochak’s second novel, One Life, One Love, a sequel to Love Happens only Once, too, shot up the charts. Rochak Bhatnagar is an engineer by profession but writing romantic fiction and crime thriller is his passion. Rochak did his schooling from Amity International School Delhi, going on to Gautam Budh Technical University, Lucknow. Inspired by the events around his environs, his stories are realistic with a hidden message for the readers. Currently residing in New Delhi, he loves to pen down his thoughts and interact with his fans whenever free.

Swarnali says

The first thing that caught my attention when I got the book in my hands was the cover. It explicitly states the story that unfolds inside. However, I would have preferred the face of a real person instead of a painting. The paper quality and fonts are easy on the eyes and do not strain after a lengthy reading. What perhaps irked me the most were a couple of typos that I found here and there.
Unlike his previous books, which primarily belong to the genre of Romantic fiction, Rochak Bhatnagar deals with a very sensitive issue in his book The Curse of the Night published by General Press. He explores the consequences of women speaking up against disrespectful and crude guys and also displays how often the spoilt brats of powerful politicians engage themselves in these dirty games.
He exposes, through this book, the unabashed and heinous mentality possessed by the eminent political leaders of our country in their opinions about women in general. The book traces the journey of a young girl who is brutally raped and undergoes tremendous mental trauma before emerging out of the shackles of civilized society life and finding peace. From the onset, we are introduced to the stark differences in the various levels co-existing in society.
While Darsh and Aarti belong to the lowest possible social class, Darsh being a rag-picker supporting his sister, Abhijeet, his brother Rohan and his Secretary cum fiancĂ©e Malvika hails from the respectable grade. Bhatnagar also dwells on human psychology by distorting the relationship between the two brothers. He lends a darker shade to Rohan’s character, who seeks revenge upon his elder brother and plans the latter’s murder. Abhijeet’s paternal concern for Rohan barring him from squandering money and insisting him on pursuing a serious career instill a staunch hatred in Rohan’s mind.
Unlike most of the rich masters who maltreat their servants thereby dehumanizing them, Abhijeet and Malvika’s empathy for Aarti’s hapless fate makes them sufficiently plausible and endearing projections of the author’s own self. However, he aptly portrays the perverted and degraded selves of those men who committed brutal atrocities on an innocent victim merely to satisfy their male ego and teach her ‘a lesson’. Bhatnagar brings in fresh twists in this tale of justice through the introduction of many characters and situations.
He depicts the complexities residing in the character of a rich and successful lawyer through Abhijeet’s dilemma in deciding to offer help to Aarti since her molesters belong to the powerful and influential circle. He is torn between safeguarding his career interests and protecting his love that, in turn, prompts him to choose between humanity and rationality. Bhatnagar provides all his characters, including the minor ones, sufficient scope to develop through the narrative.
Though his style is not very impressive, his genuine concern for this cause that has recently emerged as a form of a colossal social disease, especially in India, can be clearly seen in his extensive research perused at the beginning of most of the chapters. However, the drab facts become uninteresting and repetitive after a considerable period of time forcing the reader to simply overlook the pages.
Although the language is lucid, it is punctuated by the intermittent use of Hindi colloquial words and slangs which a novice might find difficult to comprehend. Overall the book is a good attempt at addressing the social cause of rape that is regularly inflicted upon women, all over the world, working in and belonging to any field of society.

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