Saturday, 23 February 2019

Endurer by Kapil Raj : Book Review

Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Write India
Book Length: 216
Price: Rs. 175
Amazon : https://amzn.to/2VdvYd9


Cover: The cover design is as exquisite as the book itself. The grainy, sparkling texture of the cover in its off-white hue appears very aesthetic and soothing to look at. The artistic graphics portraits of two girls, one within the other, facing opposite directions opens up the way to various interpretations, to different readers. On a personal note, I feel that the images portray the protagonist in the story, at two different phases of her life. The white face within the crimson one is symbolic of the endurance of a true 'Endurer' who battled through the grievous adversities that life threw at her and stood up sturdier, rediscovering the meaning of life. The title of the book finds its place in pitch black uppercase fonts, at the top edge of the front cover along with the name of the author at the bottom edge. The back cover consists of the blurb of the book.

Title: The title is apt to the content of the book and goes in sync with the plot of the novel. "Endurer - A Rape Story", puts forth the story of Palak Kapoor, a rape victim and an endurer who didn't let the culprits or the society to get away with what they did to her and made her feel like. Its the story of how she emerged as a human, as a survivor, made her choices at the most vulnerable phases of her life and chose to live, even when she was dead inside. She lived for the people she love; the people who once taught her how precious life is and its worth living than fading away even after the worst, that one faces. The author quotes, "Yes, I was RAPED. But instead of dying. I live it." - is an appeal to every woman out there whose honour and dignity has been at stake at some point of her life to not give up, fight and emerge like an endurer.

Plot: The main plot of the novel is centred around the life of a teenager, Palak who was quite engrossed in her newly setup college life. Newfound love, drugs, catfights, patch ups, crushes, night hangouts and unplanned trips were almost all the things that had now been a part of her experiences. She was rich enough to afford every facility she desired except happiness and a little bit of her mom whom she deeply missed, for she was no more. Her father had no strings attached to her except the monetary support he provided. Palak, therefore, lived with her friends at the hostel and life was moving pretty smooth. Her friend circle particularly liked partying hard, flaunting the freedom they had and live a carefree life. Eventually, one day they ended up at a rave party at a beach house where the most grievous incident of her life took place. Yes, she got raped. This is the moment when the real story begins. The situation or rather the surge of events that took place changed the psychological view of a survivor, made her bolder than before to face life, to confront society and even the culprits. "Endurer" is the story of every woman who did not give up and chose to face the reality as it is and moved on ahead in life dismissing the adversaries.

Characterisation: The author has done a wonderful job in framing each and every character of this novel. Besides the protagonist Palak, the characters of her friends namely Tanya, Ankita, Sam, Arav, Uday, Jahan, Rohin were precisely depicted along with their physical attributes and social status. Even the other sub-characters like the family members of Palak and some of her friends were also depicted quite well. The descriptions clearly reflected their nature and character in the novel. The author introduced the antagonists in a very subtle way, that the reader at beginning of their description could not sense the foul, that is to come from them later. I feel every character perfectly made sense and contributed their part justly in framing the novel.

My Verdict: I personally feel that when one reads a book, it should be done from cover to cover. If not so, then I would not have been here praising the author for such a humble and creative 'acknowledgement' for the book. Kudos to such a creative start. Coming back to the novel I personally felt the book had a slow tedious start but it soon gained pace as "The Catastrophe" came close. Standard usage of the English language along with some skilful depictions of subtle unsaid emotions was beautifully portrayed by the author. I personally felt the plot of the novel compelling and it definitely posses the strength to keep the reader engrossed in it. The built up of the climax is supported by some other stories which played an essential part in evolving the protagonist out of pain and anxiety and face the reality. The author did a commendable job in describing sublime emotions at instances by understanding the psychology of a female protagonist, which is not an easy task to put forth. Lastly, I liked the positivity one attains after finishing this book. The last couple of pages is a sheer boost of motivation to every individual reading the book and upholds a positive outlook towards life and choosing not to die. Overall it was a good read and I hope to read more on socially exclusive sensitive topics from the author, in his upcoming works.

Rating: 4*/5*

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