Rainbow

by Aman Jassal

Read this in about 7 minutes
The famous saying “The pen is mightier than the sword” has been proved right time and again. Though used in a different and a more critical  context otherwise , it rightly signifies how  powerful words are and how significant they are in molding and shaping minds.
Having read different genres by different writers, I for one strongly believe that each word that is read by an individual is consciously or subconsciously shaping his thoughts, and hence the person who intends to write is shouldering a massive responsibility of shaping the mind of his readers and it is simply unfair to feed bookworms with nothing but the finest content, language and emotions.
However, Rainbow by Aman Jassal is one of those books that make me grateful for books that are considered even borderline mediocre by most standards.
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Cover

The white backdrop is  adorned with plenty of graphics that signify love and romance. Right from the colors to the  images used, it screams ROMANCE.  The graphics makes me wonder that maybe the designer could not decide what was more romantic - entwined hands or a love-filled hug completed with balloons so he decided to use both, and in addition to that the title is  written across the front in “kum-kum” red, yet another colour signifying love.
The cover is rather unappealing as it is neither pleasant nor is it drawing me to it enough to want to know what the book is about, on the contrary it screams desperation-desperation to be the next romance that the masses would swear by.

Characters

A love story gone wrong , this is a story of Yuvi, a young man in love, who does not seem to have any control over his sexual drive and Simran, his love interest. This girl next door (no, not the phrase, she actually lives next door!) has Yuvi floored by her flawless beauty, right from the moment he sets eyes on her.
The story revolves around these two characters along with annoyingly loud friends who seem to have nothing more significant to do than have lewd conversations, an over protective girl pal of the leading lady, her parents, his work mates and the ladies who seem to have no difficulty in seducing the lead character, and of course the landlord-the Aunty-ji.

Content

As the summary says, it is not a love story but more of an insight on how things can go severely wrong when love is overshadowed by temporary and shallow priorities like lust and attraction.
An engineer living in another town leading a very mundane life sets eyes on his very beautiful neighbor who comes home  occasionally from a neighboring town where she studies at.  Wooing her into falling in love with him all for a bet, Yuvi himself falls for her simple ways and flawless beauty.
However, this apparent love of his does not seem to be a reason enough  for him to be loyal, and he goes on to give in to women who seduce him into infidelity rather easily.
What follows is a tale of him being in love, cheating on the woman he loves due to his lack of resolve, the guilt trip to repentance, only to do it again and to finally lose her and realize the enormity of his loss and drowning in self pity after having been confronted with the truth.

Language

I have always been vary of reading the new generation Indian authors simply due to the pathetic language most writers feel is “cool” to use, and this book would be the right example to defend my stand.
Written from Yuvi’s perspective, the language and tone of the book is extremely annoying. Lousy translations of phrases from Hindi to misspelt words, badly framed sentences to trashy, mindless conversations-this book covers it all.
He is very much frustated, and I got feared if he got any hint about Anita’s adultery? Naaaa…she is that smart, can even do that every day without Mr.Gandhi doubting her once…
I made a few excuses to calm her down. It’s not that difficult to put a girl in bottle especially when she thinks that she is the boss….
I kept silent on that, still the age gap and all, stopped me from getting fully open with her.

Good points

Though as I read the book I was convinced that I had nothing to mention in this category, but on retrospection there surely is. The lead character Yuvi , and his weak resolve are rather realistic.
His philandering ways represent to us that one guy who we all know  that has next to no self control or enough sensibility to value and cherish the love and trust he is bestowed with.

Bad points

Starting from the very unappealing cover page, the book is more of an example of how books should not be written or made. The basic idea of bringing to fore the after effects of infidelity is rather interesting but the plot is a mere fabric of different over-dramatic scenes straight out of movies woven together.
From the dramatically gorgeous Simran, to falling in love with her after wooing her over a bet, from being seduced by a boring boss’s very hot wife to making out with the friend’s ex-girlfriend who always had a thing for the “hero”, every incident aspires to be the perfect movie scene that makes up most cheesy movies in Bollywood (No offence, grew up on them!).
What could’ve  been a portrayal of the turmoil one goes through when torn between love and lust or the thought process of the one who cheats without much thought, this book is a lousy attempt at capturing how it is so easy for a man to give in to his temptations, regret for a while only to do it again without a second thought and then drown in self loathing and regret when caught in the act.
It wouldn't be exaggerating, if I claim this to be a very thoughtless portrayal of how easy it is to cheat, followed by shallow and temporary regret only to do it again. Having said that I  do not mean that all books on this subject are so, in fact many books written on betrayal and infidelity explore depths of the situation, give insights on the minds of the people and help us understand why a person chose that course of action, rather than just portraying infidelity like a cool thing to do, without thinking too much about the consequence.
The highlight of the book remains the language, and having covered that already I am sure you have a fair idea about what I mean.

Overall

Most of us would agree that at some point of time in our lives we feel either our lives or situations around us are dramatic enough to be written about. Most of us let go of the idea as quickly as it came to us.
However, Rainbow seems like one of those ideas that was taken rather seriously. From the language to the content  to the impact you intend to have on the audience, each element is more significant than the other in order to give a wholesome  & enriching experience to the readers, at which this book fails miserably!
As a writer, one is not only penning his story he is also shaping the minds of the individuals reading the book and it is simply unfair to the readers to give to them characters that lack character, badly formed sentences and content that looks more like a wannabe movie script, a bad one at that.

Who do I recommend it to ?

Editors, proof-readers and all aspiring writers, just to understand how to not write a book.