Wednesday, April 6, 2016

BOOK REVIEW : THE HONEST SEASON



Making films on politics has always been the fancy of many directors. It is a genre which is loved by people. However when the same comes to books, it doesn’t always hold true. There are very few novels on politics which manage to remain gripping till the end. Most usually sink into deep depression and lose track midway.

Fortunately, Kota Neelima’s latest offering “The Honest Season” manages to stay above all these clich├ęs and turns out to be a page turning novel.

PLOT

It all happens in the city of Delhi where politicians reside, where the country’s most renowned news channels have head offices and where all the leading newspapers have their reporters vying to outdo each other.

Amidst the rivalry, the novel focuses on the life of “Know journalist” Mira Mouli. Along with a detailed offering into her personal and professional life as well as her thoughts, we are also introduced to the two main male characters Sikandar Bansi and Nalan Malik.

Both have their own traits, plusses and minuses. When Sikandar Bansi disappears and starts sending tapes to the news company, hell breaks loose. Each tape consists of hardcore evidence of corruption within the entire political system – be it the ruling party, the opposition party or even the country’s defence system.

With each tape, Sikandar sends a clue specially addressed to Mira, in order for her to find him.
What happens next? Does Mira succeed in finding Sikandar? Will she be able to fight her own inner demons and find that man who seems to know her inside out?

WRITING

Unlike Kota Neelima’s previous novel “Shoes of the dead”, this one is more pacy. She gets a brilliant grip on the entire political backdrop, effectively creating the right and apt amounts of tension whenever needed.

She also shows why journalism and politics are so interconnected in today’s world. She tells us that even today, there are both good as well as bad people in journalism as well as politics.


POSITIVES

The characterizations are superb. The characters of Mira and Sikandar are brilliantly sketched. That strong affinity between them is brilliant. The tension is so real and palpable. You almost want Mira to come out from that rented flat and meet Sikandar.

The other characters too are well done – Nalan Malik, Munshi, Bhaskar, Salat Vasudev, etc.
The monsoon is depicted so well by Kota Neelima. It is my favorite season and she only enhances my love for the rains. The title of the book is so apt. there is no season as honest as monsoon.

The ending of the book is perfect. With a Christopher Nolan like ending, the author leaves it to the readers’ imagination and intelligence as to what Mira actually does.


NEGATIVES

This is a near flawless book. The pace is good, the content is very good, but there are portions when the romantic angle gets too much. Priorities shift and the focus shifts from politics to a little too much of indulgence.

Apart from that, I hardly found any minuses in the novel.

OVERALL, Kota Neelima’s book “The Honest Season” is for those who love political fiction works. Along with being a fictional work, it very deftly exposes the loopholes in our own political system. It shows us that inspite of being the world’s largest democracy, we are miles behind when it comes to having a clean, moral and ethical political system.
It does require a lot of efforts. The cleaning up process is not so easy. But atleast people are being made aware – be it by a novel or by any other means.


Great work, Kota Neelima!!!     

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