Book Review : Love across the borders – By Sudama Chandra Panigrahi

One emotion , one story line that stays timeless in our literature is “Love”.  Love stories never seem to go out of fashion. After reading many chick lits and specifically the campus love stories, I thought this genre perhaps has nothing new to offer. And then I come across this book “Love across the borders” by an extremely talented writer.”

The title and the blurb automatically played this song from the movie Refugee in my mind ..
 “Panchi nadiyaan pawan ke jhonke, koi sarhad na inhe roke, sarhadein insaano ke liye hai, socho tumne aur maine, kya paaya insaan hoke”. 

What amazing lines! A thought that instantly brings out the complete essence of a love story across the borders of two fighting nations. Indo Pak relations have been at the heart of many Hindi movies. A popular sentiment of “emotional hatred” is lot like two estranged step brothers fighting over nothing! And triumph of Love over Hatred of any degree comes up as a palatable message in the end. This book however talks about another border. The love story in this book has Indo China relations in its backdrop. New, interesting and intriguing… mainly because, Indo – China bitterness is devoid of that “emotional hatred” and is more like a professional spat between a snobby competitor which can be considered stronger , but yet it is greedy enough to irritate a peace loving nation like ours (as we may like to call courtesy the loopholes in the policies and shaky diplomacy) here

So does the book manage to hold the readers interest throughout? What all can you expect from this book?

Yes it does and the answer lies in the Writing style.  So what makes this novel interesting and intriguing is the sheer drama and thrill the love story was able to create and of course the flawless narrative. Talking about the latter, every chapter starts with lines that will make you re-read them (like a shayri effect we have in Hindi). Simple yet very poetic in nature, these lines make both characterization and the setting very clear in the minds of a reader.
“Joy, they say had wings and Jia had enough feathers to fly”.
“Love without enemy, just not possible. For the sake of foe, love exists or does enemy exist for love?”
“The sun went down and the chilling wind gained strength. The stars being fearful of the raging sun and hiding, emerged with the moon in their usual places”.
Something that we rarely get to read in the “sms type” language used more widely. Isn’t it? And find our respite in the works of foreign authors.

The story line as I mentioned is filled with drama and lots of ups and down. A bomb blast in the city brings a local boy and a Chinese girl close to each other in a hospital, where the attraction grows into mutual admiration, empathy and love. Love so strong that family oppositions, confusions and adversity could not separate them. The cities like Jharsaguda (in Orissa), Kolkata, Beijing, are very nicely interwoven into the storyline. Characters and the relationships between them have been depicted very well. The end is predictable like many love stories, where the couple across the borders re-unites and gives a picture perfect happy ending!

As unbiased and critical I can get about books my final verdict is, I liked the book. And I would definitely recommend it to those who like to read love stories and are found of reading slightly poetic style of fiction writing. Some chapters are very short and could have been combined. It is however my personal preference for uninterrupted reading especially for a fictional piece. Although many readers may have a different take on this. One may also find the story stretched towards the end where the couple never seems to be getting back together. Like many 3 hr plus movies that are larger than life and takes a little more time to conclude than it should. This book is one of them. This is larger than life, grand and a magnum opus by the author. Such writing and authors should be encouraged and such stories bring a breath of fresh air in the current popular chick lit genre. 

The overall packaging of the book could have been better. Things like paper quality, cover design, font sizes etc. But having seen the publishing business very closely, I am aware that this is really not something that an author can control beyond a certain point. But som
ething that a new author like Sudama should do and is doing to some extent is to take ownership of promoting the book. We at writersmelon believe that there is nothing wrong in promoting your own work selfishly and shamelessly. It takes a lot to write more those 200 pages and that effort deserves a lot more than it often gets and the onus is on the creator.

— Reviewed by Roshni Nair A part time sales professional, based out of Pune. Mother of a active toddler and a proud iMelonite. 
 – An initiative to feature notable authors. 
Love across the borders — By Sudama Chandra Panigrahi  is the book “In Focus”.


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