A broken man by Akash Verma is one of the best books which I have read this year. This is the story of Krishna, a dalit boy and Chhavi who is a mighty Brahmin politician’s daughter. Chhavi is active into student politics. Krishna is used by the rival party to disrupt Chhavi’s meetings. Her clout in the university is increasing. Then one day Chhavi is doused in petrol. Krishna is being told that it is only to create a fear in her mind. But the flames soon start to consume her body. Krishna saves her and they fall in love. But Krishna has two enemies now. The rival gang who wished to kill him and Chhavi’s family who will not approve of their alliance. So he runs to Mumbai where he gets a job at a copy-writing agency with Chaavi’s reference. His secret diary paves way to make him the writer of a Bollywood movie. But he still longs for Chaavi who is now married to someone else. Will their paths meet again? To know this you will have to read a broken man.
The title on the cover in toggle case says it all. In this story the writer has placed the same utensils on the same rack but in a different manner, different order. It is different yet the same. The student politics backdrop coupled with the dalit angle makes the story poignant. The story brings to the fore the plight of dalits in modern India. Krishna’s parents, their house all brought tears in my eyes. My respect for such children who fight against all odds to gain education, enhanced by leaps and bounds.
The book is interspersed with Krishna’s Hindi poetry and Chhavi’s grandmother’s stories. The scene where Chahavi tells Krishna over the phone that she chose her family over him and the scene where they are reunited show the writer’s command over his medium.
Who says pulp fiction is all about marketing? Who says only love stories set in IIMs and IITs work? Here is a story rooted in the real India, revolving around real people and is yet positive, motivating, encouraging and even endearing. This is a book not to be missed.