02 April 2012

Can Love Happen Twice? by Ravinder Singh

I too was waiting eagerly for this one
When I read Ravinder Singh’s first book three years ago, it was with a sense of disbelief. HERE is the, er, dissertation I wrote about it on this blog.
Leaving its flaws aside, however, I too had a love story is a seamless read, good for one sitting even if it leaves you slapping your forehead at the end of it. But this book begins badly, using a device strewn with irritating bumps and starts. I too had a love story sold phenomenally well and created a huge population of fans, and Ravinder Singh’s second book has been published by Penguin. So I was expecting copy free of major grammatical or style flaws and horrified to find, as early as pages 3 and 4 respectively, the words ‘disagreement’ and ‘nostalgic’ incorporated in unique ways:
With this gesture he signalled his disagreement to take a cab.
Would that be his ‘refusal’ to take a cab? Or his ‘disinclination’ to take a cab? I suppose it doesn’t matter that thousands and thousands are going to read this book and will believe that disagreement can be used this way quite correctly.
It was nostalgic for them to meet each other after so long.
The carnage continues, with Penguin India setting new standards for an entire generation of second-language English aspirants.
Grammar and style may certainly remain subservient to a good story. Ravin has grown up a bit and moved on from the rustic lad he once was - he can even use the word 'Voila' in daily speech. “Unlike India, where a sandwich is more like a snack, in the West it is more of a meal. Having lived in various countries I have adapted to every kind of meal now,” he tells us modestly. And Ravin, a wonderful new role model, “loves to booze” and unerringly picks yet another true love who is “very fair in complexion” and has “shining white teeth”. She also has any number of “cute” habits which you are going to love. Alas, I promise you.
The part of this book I liked the most was when Ravin’s true love no. 2 drinks too much and begins to vomit. Instead of vomiting right back, Ravin understands his responsibility and takes tender care of her.
This book is not as easy to read and gripping as his first one – but it does deal at some level with some of the issues of ‘real’ love such as understanding each other as separate human beings, and the need to develop common goals rather than battling bitterly against each other’s goals forevermore.

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