When The Chief Fell In Love by Tuhin A Sinha
I was surprised when I turned the jacket of the novel, When The Chief Fell In Love, to start reading it. The other side of the cover has a brief bio of the author who is also an aspiring politician. I thought only Shashi Tharoor pens novels. But the author cum politician Tuhin A Sinha is quite multi talented.
The story is about Vihaan and Zaira whose heart beat for each other, but couldn’t become one for various reasons. Theirs is a simple love story, but when the twist of Kashmir comes in foray nothing remains simple.
Vihaan is the defence minister of India and Zaira is the daughter of pro Pakistan separatist leader. Wow! Quite an explosive couple. Now Vihaan is at a crossroad. He has to choose between the two. How he retains both loves of his life forms the rest of the story.
Not So Interesting Love Story
The novel is a coming of the age. It starts from 1990 and end in future 2030. Both Vihaan and Zaira were in college when they met. Since then, their paths crossed multiple times only to be separated again. Just like the movie Hum Tum, if you remember. They both takes long 27 years to get married to each other.
The love story was sweet, but repetitive. A little more intensity in their heartbreaks, longing for each other would have made it a melancholic read. I didn’t feel sad when they were getting separated again and again. In fact their union and separation was repetitive and there was absolutely nothing new to read.
Actually, to tell the truth, I was more interested in reading the political part of the book. Like surgical strike. The author has, just, touched upon military attack which made so many headlines when Indian army strikes Pakistan in order to avenge the killing of four Indian soldiers in 2016.
The author is not an insider or minister, but a little more into creating an entire scenario of decision making and the strike could have been enormously interesting and somewhat new to read. In book it was shown as a passing event.
Also Vihaan has been shown as a lover boy. His political side was never fully explored and explained. How he came into politics and his phenomenal rise in power.
A Dream comes True
But yes, there is one wishful dream of every Indian which has come true in this novel. Our dream of peaceful and prospering Kashmir. Honestly, with the present scenario, there is practically no solution to Kashmir problem, but the author has made it possible at least in the fictional world.
Politics Running in Veins
But politicians will always be a politician. Tuhin A Sinha, spokesperson of BJP, doesn’t fail to highlight the achievement of BJP under the prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in order to solve the Kashmir issue and also highlight the fact that Kashmir problem is the legacy of the Congress government.
In recent past I have read so many novels where the authors introduce metaphors of Arnab Goswami in their story line. He is portrayed as a lousy and nosy character, but who is patriotic and troubleshooter of India. When The Chief Fell In Love also joins the list of such novels. Arnab makes his appearance as Pranab Goswami in the novel as a ferocious journalist and sting operationist.
The narrative was a little slow for my liking. The love story could have been trimmed down a little. It was the Kashmir side of the story, issues with the Article 370, root problem of Kashmir, political history of Kashmir since independence, actually kept me glued to the book.
The love story is like any regular couple story, but it is the political side which made the difference. But beware the author himself is a politician.
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