Love forever @ Rajpath is the debut novel of Kalpana Mishra. It is the story of two government love birds. (Yes, those are the words used by the author, which I liked absolutely.) Shalini and Kartik both are government employees. They work in different departments. All the new employees are required to undergo a mandatory training. Shalini and Kartik are trained in the same batch. Shalini is the only lady in that batch. They have a study tour, which brings Shalini and Kartik closer. Shalini is a Sindhi, while Kartik belongs to a conservative Bihari family. They succeed in convincing their parents about their marriage. But when everything is going fine, Kartik is kidnapped and forced to marry another girl. This practice prevails in Bihar and is known as Zabaria Shaadi.
What I liked about the book is the setting of the story. We had enough love stories set in (Engineering) college campuses and software companies. Don’t government employees have a heart? Yes they do. The setting brings a freshness to the story. I also liked Shalini’s character. She comes across as a strong woman. She simply isn’t that designer clothes, Barbie doll with mascara. Neither is she a cry baby who needs a man’s shoulder to cry upon. She is a real woman.
The author introduces us to the social evil of Zabaria Shaadi. However this part comes towards the end and is wrapped up in a single chapter. I wish the author could have devoted some more pages to it. Also all the character’s speak the same banal, insipid, bookish language. I wish if the character’s spoke the real language. In that case the novel wouldn’t have insidiously dragged.