Sunday, 7 May 2017

Review of RAFFLESIA The Banished Princess



The curtains draw up. Lights are dimmed. The musical is about to begin. As the beautiful princess descends on stage, the mythical creatures from her kingdom come alive. Flickers of brilliant colours 

blaze across as mesmerizing music pulsates from one corner of the theatre to the other. A fairy tale is about to unfold… 

As young children, we often come across things that stay in our hearts forever. For Appu, it is a fairy tale about a beautiful princess.He lives with her in a world filled with the magical creatures from her kingdom until the real world beckons. A reluctant Appu steps into it as a striking young man and struggles to find his place. 

What follows is an evocative tale of love and loss, friendship and betrayal, as the story travels through the snow-peaked mountains of Arunachal to the golden deserts of Jaisalmer, the tulip gardens of 

Holland to the lush greens of Kerala. Does Appu find what he had set out for? The answer lies in Rafflesia — The Banished Princess because in her story, lay his!

General :

The title "Raffesia The Banished Princess " makes me to believe that it to be a fairy tale. After studying the Prologue and go through the pages I find out it is a fantastic family saga running a period of four decades. It is my favorite genre.The story is so engrossing.It is lengthy and dense but it leads me to a heartwarming read about life , family bonding , friendship, pain and death.It is not only humorous at times but also intriguing.I want to read  at a small but steady pace to fathom the unostentatious story  .It is all about the social interactions and happenings in the life of Appu  , the darling of everybody.

The Plot :

There are two books .Totally there are 31 chapters each having a caption to suit the content.It starts with a prologue and ends with an Epilogue.The story begins in the  the year 1982 when the protagonist Appu is   a small kid studying in a school and goes on till he reaches adulthood becoming an employee of Q&Zi, a leading Indian company engaged in information technology services. The story happens at Gauhati and then at Leeuwarden .in Netherlands.  There are plethora of characters mostly Appu's friends and colleagues,parents and neighbours.

When the story begins  Appu  is  a child living with his  parents in Gauahati . His father Aabir and his mother Trina love him. He is their only hope. Hope for dignity . For Distinction . For acceptance  And perhaps a roof of their own someday  .Aabir has got a flair  to   play Violin and he is working for a concern for a meager salary. 

Aabir has got a friend ,Air Marshall   Vikram  Mehta and his son Rahul becomes​  Appu's closest buddy.The friendship with Vikram is so sweet and affectionate. All of a sudden Vikram's wife Amala who is suffering from depression  takes a lot of sleeping pills and expires leaving Vikram and Rahul devastated. At that juncture Aabir and Trina give moral support.

After   clearing  his school education with flying colours and joins college to pursue graduation in commerce. He comes as a topper in the university examination and after trying small jobs , he joins a Dutch company as a translator. He goes to Leeuwarden on a  work assignment  . He meets Jeet  working at De Groet Bank.He  and his  wife Sujata are very fond of Appu and she treats  him as her son.

Friendship has to stand the test of time. When the contact between Vikram and Aabir slows down , the same of  Appu with  Rahul thickens. They are charismatic and charming  and their friendship adds credibility to the story.Likewise life is not fair to Rahul. His wife Mohna expires suddenly and he slips into depression and tries to kill himself.

Appu's, co worker Misha has got her own story. Her parents have chosen a bridegroom Aariyan and when he goes abroad he marries another girl. Misha has to bear the brunt of fate . 

Jeet and  Sujata  make a good made -for- each - other couple  , but they remain issueless for seven years.

Rosemary is the daughter of Mr Dennis Fairburn  who gets married to Robert dowson .He leaves her after five years .Later she takes a job at a Government department . She has got transferred to Leeuwarden. Her father wants her to remarry. Whether she agrees for it or not?

Amidst all of these , Appu has to face a crisis in the form of divorce notice from his better half . What is the reason for such a sickening situation?What is the decision he takes ? What is the story of RAFLESSIA ?.As per the blurb if the  answer lies for Appu what he sets for what it means? For these questions you have to read the book.

The Pro :

After a long time I am coming across a novel full of incidents and occasions of  kindness , love and affection in the background of family atmosphere .

The protagonist Appu has got a great charm and wise character . Appu has got all the qualities of his mother,Trina. Even though her husband Aabir earns a meager salary she manages so well with lot of patience and hardwork. She is wealthy. In a different way. In kind.From her Appu learns humility and empathy. He is comfortable with everyone and ladies are ready to confide and pour out their thoughts to him freely. He has got a great affection  for pets from his childhood days . His exemplary way of treating the cat, Ivy is an example for his kindness .

I like Rahul who stands with Appu through thick and thin.All the characters are good barring a few like Sujit Sundar Rakshit who are bad in their own way.There is a lot of banter and jolly moments.

The characters are real and we can relate to them .
 I like the language  of Gautam  as it is poignant and touches my heart.This family drama carries all the nuances and  details to entertain us to  a great extent. The author uses words  in  Dutch to make the story realistic and enjoyable. 

The story teller in Guatam has crafted a nice family tale making  it cheesy  social drama around the stories of married people.It is entertaining  with humour, suspense,and excitement.In fact there are not mind boggling turns and twists.The narration is fast paced .

My favorite :

I like  Bashir's father Aga Ali Sheikh who is the closest buddy of Appu. His words of wisdom would open our eyes.

It is not money that makes a person rich. It is love that makes a person rich.It is his honesty that makes him rich.  

My verdict 

I like the family drama as it contains all the suspense, humour , excitement and thrill . The story teller in Gautam has given a lot of attention and care to shape the characters and bring  out a blockbuster giving all the entertainment to the readers.Kudos to Gautam for having come with an outstanding novel .   The first part portrays the family bonding and  the second part speaks about the turmoils faced by married people.I recommend this book to all fiction lovers those who want to have a beautiful read.

My score : 5/5

Disclaimer : I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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