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Book Review: Where The Rainbow Ends by Anurag Anand

Title: Where The Rainbow Ends
Author: Anurag Anand
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Srishti Publishers (October 2013)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Read: Paperback
Stars: ****/5
Buy On: Amazon | FlipKart

Summary: (Goodreads)
Rahul had everything going his way – a soaring career, a happy family and all else a man his age could yearn for. And then suddenly his life began to crumble all around him, disintegrating element after precious element, leaving him to watch in helpless horror.

Avantika, a pretty, vivacious girl who had come into Rahul’s life by pure accident, literally, has suddenly gone missing. Just like that, without as much as a trace. Where is Avantika? Will Rahul be able to find her? Is it her own past that has come back to consume her or is it something even more vicious and sinister?

Shalini, Rahul’s first love and a girl accustomed to leading life on her own terms. Hailing from a family that exerts considerable influence in the galleries of politics and power, she certainly has the wherewithal to impact a lot of things. Even lives. Is Shalini fostering a grudge that could displace not one but many lives? Could she be the one behind Avantika’s mysterious disappearance?

My Review:

Note: Thanks Anurag Anand for offering me your book to read and review :)

Cover: Looks like a pirated copy; could have been better!

Paper and font: Paper and font is good [doesn’t looked pirated 😀 ].

Readability, language: Reads well with simple language.

Why did I choose this book: I did enjoy Anurag Anand’s earlier book ‘The Legend of Amrapali‘, so the next had to be tried.

Rahul meets Avantika at a time when nothing is going his way. His wife is putting him through a difficult divorce, he has lost his job, his house and to top it all his daughter is seriously ill and needs expensive treatment. Avantika comes into his life like a ray of sunshine, that is until she suddenly and mysteriously disappears.

At the end of the rainbow lies a pot of gold is an old saying and considering the storm in Rahul’s life and Avantika coming into it like a rainbow, the title is apt for a story that follows the rainbow to the end. The dark cover with bright rainbow colours is a nice idea but it could have been better – as such it looks like a cheap pirated cover with hazy text that isn’t straight. The blurb is interesting though and makes you want to read the book.

An unusual plot, I haven’t read a book with a storyline like ‘Where The Rainbow Ends’ before. Almost at the start you start wondering about Avantika, Rahul tells his and his ex-wife Shalini’s story but hardly anything is known about Avantika. Though Rahul is the protagonist, it was Avantika who kept me turning the pages as I wondered who she was and what was her story.

Set in present day Mumbai and Delhi, Anand uses the cities backdrops well to further the story. His descriptions of the localities and houses in both Mumbai and Delhi are believable and add to the story. I could almost see the city and it’s people in my mind’s eye, especially Delhi.

Anand introduces characters as he goes along in the story but the core characters of Rahul and Avantika stay to tie the story together throughout. More than Avantika it is Rahul who keeps the story rolling as he slowly discovers Avantika’s past.
As I read ‘Where The Rainbow Ends’ I felt sorry for Rahul for the hand life had dealt him but at times I also felt he was a sissy, searching for a way to run and hide rather than face it all. Shalini is the typical rich spoilt kid who has always got what her wanted and when she didn’t, she’d throw a tantrum that would make Papa materialize and give her what she wanted. Avantika though a mystery in the first half of the book, turns out to be a strong character in the second. Some of her past is sordid but as the story continues her strength of character comes through and makes her transgressions more palatable.

Anand has done a good job with the story structure, keeping me gripped till the end to know all about Avantika. Rahul may not have held my interest until the end but Avantika did. There are a few sub-plots that make Avantika’s disappearance more intriguing however Anand ties up all the loose ends and closes all loops by the end of the book. The build-up to the climax is well written but the climax itself left me disturbed and brimming with questions (more on this later).

Having read Anand’s earlier book, I’m glad to have read his next. His writing has gotten better and so has his story telling ability. The pace is good, not slackening at any point. The style and language is simple and easy on the mind while making you rethink about some stuck-up societal notions. Also makes you think about how money and death changes how you judge people.

Over all I enjoyed Anand’s latest book ‘Where The Rainbow Ends’ and look forward to his next book. Though this book doesn’t have any erotic scenes, it still has some thoughts and incidents that are not for children. If you are an adult, I highly recommend you read ‘Where The Rainbow Ends’. :)

***This might be a bit of a spoiler, so avoid it if it will spoil your reading experience***
Avantika’s history as I mention earlier is sordid, she had prostituted herself at some point in her life. Later on she gets to know she has cancer and limited time to live. These two bits of her history don’t have much to do with each other but are relevant to how you feel about the character. Lastly she has a lot of money that she leaves in a trust for Rahul’s daughter. By the time Rahul gets to know all of Avantika’s past, she is dead. Now coming to what disturbed me. Rahul as expected is disgusted when he gets to know that the woman he has fallen in love with was a prostitute but somehow as the rest of her story unfolds and the trust comes into picture he finds it in himself to forgive her. This behaviour (among other things) though expected and seen in normal life left me a bit disturbed. Did Anand kill Avantika before her past was revealed to make her past more acceptable and forgivable? Would Rahul’s feelings have been different had she still been alive? Would his ‘love’ have been the same? Had money not been in the picture how would Rahul have felt about Avantika’s past?
These questions gave me a disturbed afternoon. At some level I was angry at Anand for putting a woman in a place where she was judged and making her conveniently dead so she could not defend herself. Rahul’s ‘forgiveness’ pissed me off coz men don’t sell themselves but pay for sex, how is that less shameful?
Questions like these kept cropping up in my mind. Guess it’s the feminist in me who just wants equality. I want the words whore and promiscuous to be equal and interchangeable not as they are now – whore for women and promiscuous for men.
*** End of Rant 😀 ***

About the Author:
Anurag is a banker who wrote his first book ‘Pillars of Success’ at the age of 25. He currently has six published titles. See his other books on his website – www.anuraganand.in.

Buy On: Amazon | FlipKart

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