The 5 star rating is on the following criteria:
Publishing (job done or not) *
Love Forever @ Rajpath is story of, holier than thou Shalini, and Kartik. The narration tells, how a woman would go to any length, sometimes giving up on their own happiness for family and love, forgive the biggest mistakes, even put her own life on line. Shalini is one such strong woman. Kartik is a cultured man with principles who wishes to play a part to bring about change, but is bound by family values.
The problems they encounter because of the people they are, and how they overcome their hurdles is brought to us in this narrative.
Shalini and Kartik meet on the first day of their appointment in a Government office and struggle to fall in love.
The proposal and the acceptance takes a long while, mainly because the protagonist, Shalini sees marriage as end of life, certain that an arranged match would be retrogressive. Shalini finds it hard to fall in love, because of her insecurities, need to be proper at all times and inability to trust.
Kartik has been treated as untrustworthy, spineless and sort of untouchable, his crime being, he was a ‘Bihari’. Hailing from, Deoghar (Jharkhand) labelled as Bihari, makes it impossible for Shalini to believe he could be like any other man.
The main and supporting characters are loaded with prejudices, and these prejudices play major role in the story rather than the characters.
As a love story it really doesn’t do much, the incident I found kind of romantic was when the characters write a formal letter proposing their love, and the proposal gets accepted in the same tone.
As a sneak-peek into a Government office, the novel gives a fair idea.
Two important issues have been approached in the book, lack of public facilities, and culture of Zabran Shaadi, prevalent in Bihar, UP and other rigid northern states of India.
But the presentation is lacklustre. The incident of “ladies’ toilet” I found rude, rather than funny. The way the protagonist behaved couldn’t possibly set right example.
The characterisation and narration is one dimensional, with the characters being happy or sad, agree or don’t agree, too righteous. I couldn’t really connect to the characters because the story is told and not presented with dialogues. Most of the time, I felt like I was reading essays, especially the end of scenes.
On the above mentioned criteria, I rate it **
PS: I need to point out, some geographical aspects of our country, Bihar and Jharkhand are two different states, Bihar was divided in the year 2000. 16 years on, looks like the records remain un-updated.
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