(General Fiction by “Jyoti Arora” – INR 195)
How far would you go to make your dream come true? Would you bid adieu to your most cherished relationships for the sake of one all-consuming dream? Which lane would you walk down while chasing an elusive eternity that demands all you have? In her new work of fiction – “Dream’s Sake” – debutant author Jyoti Arora delves into several such musings of the mind.
Dream’s Sake is a page from life: the life that Aashi, Abhi, Priyam and Siddharth live, a life that has much to borrow from and much owed to the days gone past. Though in them can be spotted people we meet in the bus, at coffee shops and fancy malls of glass, they all live in the sort of turmoil that has become inseparable from our convoluted metropolis. Aashi, a romantic twenty something who comes to live in a rented house with her mother, believes in a world of happy, if myopic, endings. When her stars collide with Abhi and Priyam’s – orphaned siblings who have always lived in a world devoid of bubblegum goodness – differences are certain. What is not certain is the course their lives eventually take. Likewise Siddharth, the son of a rich business tycoon, also walks a meandering course. The permanence of his love for Priyam, it seems, is wary of the equal if not more hard-pressing love for his dead mother. And life, in dishing out episode after episode of take-your-pick doesn’t help at all.
Jyoti introduces us to well-rounded characters: detailed and relatable. While Abhi’s sarcasm and lopsided grin are tailor-made to charm, Aashi’s vivacity and ‘practical’ bend of mind are right up there for all to see. And Jyoti doesn’t limit us to the protagonists; there are several other people we meet along the way. Some of them though, fall into done-to-death character stereotypes. The big Daddy who puts everything right and the handsome rich guy who has droolers by the dozen, for instance, take away from the delightful detail of her four prime protagonists.
To its credit, Dream’s Sake makes for easy reading. The language is nice and simple, the backdrop urban-contemporary. Though it has a rather slow start, the story picks up tempo – and the interest of the reader – as several events occur in quick succession towards the middle of the book. In the rush to the climax, however, Dream’s Sake appears too desperate to wrap things up. This is where it treads on the thin line between realism and melodrama, bordering closer to the latter. Some readers may cringe at the conclusion to the tale – though open-ended and thought-provoking, too 70 mm screen-ish to digest. While again, it may be this very ending that may appeal to some other readers, touching a heartstring or two with its raw emotional appeal.
Dream’s Sake is a simple tale of dreams – big and small – and life in various colours. If you are in the mood for a lazy Sunday afternoon read that stays well within the limits of casual/romance reading, you might consider picking this up.
Thank you Jyoti for sending across a copy of “Dream’s Sake”- I owe you a welcome addition to my fiction shelf. All the best for your future ventures and good luck with your dreams!