Sunday, 6 March 2016

My Take- Heart of Bullets by Nikhil Kushwaha

The 5 star rating is on the following criteria:

  Story/Concept/Plot             * 
Characterisation                   *
Language/Expression           *
Entertainment/Message        *
Publishing (job done or not)  *

Heart of Bullets is a story of two fearless soldiers, who would do anything for Love; Love for their Motherland, for a friend or love for a woman.
The story runs in past and present where the narrator, one of the soldiers, tells the story of his daredevil friend Sameer. Sameer as a friend, as a lover and as a brave soldier. 
As both the boys have indispensable part in each other’s life we get to see narrator’s life as well. 
The lady in the story has pivotal role, as her actions, dreams, innocence, ignorance, foolhardiness, answerability takes the story forward.
The story has many highs and lows, in terms of events, which are overall an interesting sequence, but nothing new. A sense of mystery is tried to be maintained, revealed in the final chapters of the novel, which are also the saving grace of this work and make for interesting reading in an otherwise laborious read. 
You get a hang of the characters but they could have been more refined.
The ‘present’ part of the story when the characters are on a mission at LOC are dealt better than the flashback, their school lives.
We tend to paint our own imaginary pictures of things which we cannot experience first-hand. A tale has been woven of the days and ways; emotions and actions at LOC.
The terrorist/soldiers escapades, emotional upheaval, missions accomplished, exchange of words, appear to be more inspired from the Hindi film industry than reality. The execution could have done with some new thrills.
Not only the war scenes, but some important sequence in the boys’ juvenile phase, one liners, appear too-close-for-comfort to some Bollywood movies. 
In order to pack a punch, the conversation among the teenagers have been dealt with in a round-about-way and as an observer I felt like the third wheel reading them. Being an intruder, I was unable to laugh and cry with the characters.
Poems and philosophical one liners are recurring feature in the book. Some of the poems are well worded and rhymed, but in places they become tad excessive. They and their explanation offered by the writer, using the same words, somewhere undermines the reader also challenges one’s patience.
The novel needs, extensive grammar corrections (Sad to see over 70% sentences in the book were grammatically wrong or absurd/inappropriate words were used.); editing and proofreading is at its worst. There are various technical and factual errors with time period, communication methods, and few other things. (I am not mentioning them here because it will spoil the surprise element in the book.)
The book has potential because the plot is well thought out, but journey in a rickety vehicle and unpleasant terrain can easily be not ventured into.

On the above mentioned criteria I rate it **

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