Reading preferences are based on the reader’s inclination towards different genres. If a book comes under different genres it is supposed to appeal to masses and in an attempt, the narration tend to be vernacular and author ends up compromising the quality of the book. It is a rare case when the book that comes under different genres manage to keep the literary finesse. Simran is one such book which is multi-genre and niche simultaneously.
The plot begins with a guy who sets out to the airport in a hurry that he stumbles upon a couple who is searching for the route to Delhi University. In the desperation to reach his destinations he cons the couple by guiding them in the wrong direction. This triggers my prejudistic self into believing that the book is yet another puppy love story and this college going hero is in search for his heroine. The next chapter takes us to a flashback when he meets a girl named Diamond, who is apparently doing a research on the “Aesthetics of human form” which in turn is in a similar line the protagonist’s work. Together they start a bizarre yet interesting journey to the author’s past as well completing their work.
The book is multidimensional and multilayered at different levels. On one side we can see two intellectuals in deep research and a writing which is metaphoric prose with a poetic musing. The second layer is that of a passionate lover trying to find a closure about his paramour. The next layer is a strong message that despises the human tendency to grade people on the basis of their physical appearance. The relevance of the topic is conveyed with conviction when Diamond narrates her past. Next layer is an eye opener about the societal prejudice towards transgenders or transsexuals aka Hijras in India. There is an underlying message against domestic violence and dowry and general discrimination towards female children. Female education, religious fanaticism, pseudo societal morale, inappropriate juvenile laws- there are several topics the book deals with.
Half way through the book, readers can get only a glimpse of the title character in the protagonist’s thoughts and dreams. While the readers are perplexed as to where Simran is, author starts the narration of their love story. While there are no intimate moments between the lovers in the book, author has tactfully depicted the depth of the relation between them. The suspense element is maintained throughout the book. While the readers expect a twist in the climax, somehow I felt that what turned out to the twist was not adequate to keep up with the hype in maintaining suspense. It is said that one should not judge a book with the cover but unfortunately it is the general practice to do so. If displayed in a library, I might not pick up the book due to the unappealing cover but what turned out in reality is that the book is a pearl inside a shell.
Overall the book is a literary treat with a solid storyline.