Leila Rajput is a young girl, struggling with life and relationships, dealing with the trauma of a past life-event. Unaware of her true potential, she has almost given up on life, till she meets this dynamic, near-perfect Vikrant Rao via internet. He identifies her potential and offers her a strange arrangement to be her mentor. He teaches her the basics of life, makes her realize her dreams and helps her in achieving them step by step. Under his guidance, she evolves into a confident and independent woman. They eventually fall in love and Vikrant relocates to her city, where he meets her friend Maya. While he solves Maya’s life conflicts and helps her elope with Shahan, he charges a fee none could ever imagine. Is Vikrant a villain or a victim of greed? Did he truly love Leila or was she just a puppet to reach his next victim? Was it Love? is a story of Leila’s journey through emotions, trials, betrayal and the devil called love.
The book starts with childhood friends Leyla and Maya, on their way to attend an annual party of corporate Inc, which is where Leyla’s boyfriend Vikrant Rao works. Leyla and Maya are now 20, completing MBA and joining the same investment banking company. Maya fumes as she is not okay with Leyla’s rash driving. They end up reaching the party on time. They are received by Vikrant and Shahan(Maya’s boyfriend). Vikrant introduces his beautiful girlfriend to all his colleagues.
Leyla meets Vikrant over the internet( he stays in US), a few years back when she was in college. They started commenting on a blog platform and which in turn bloomed into daily ritual of talking to each other over voice chat. Leyla is insecure and is being mentored by Vikrant to be a better human being and refining her thought process. The mental relationship with Vikrant costs Leyla her relationship with family friend, Avi. He dumps her and she is broken. Vikrant molds and motivates her at this point where she fails in love with him.
They come to a point where they cannot be with each other. Vikrant relocates to Delhi. Leyla makes him meet her friend Maya and offer her some piece of advice since she is in a personal turmoil.
She is in love with Shahan and there would be a religion problem if they come to seek parental consent for marriage. Shahan plans to move to US to pursue executive MBA. Vikrant advises gun to leave and makes a plan for Maya to pursue fashion design in the US so that she and Shahan can elope and live happily together.
Shahan and Maya were delighted on hearing the plan however Leyla is skeptical about it. She somehow notices a change in behavior of Vikrant. Shahan leaves to the US and Maya frequently visits Vikrant to discuss their plans. This goes on for a while until things are uninformed to Leyla and Vikrant starts to ignore her.
Leyla becomes disturbed which is noticed by her boss, Aman. He in turn decides to help her out. Leyla confesses the whole story. Aman, discovers a gruesome truth about Vikrant which leaves her shocking. Aman helps her with the situation and also confesses his love to her.
What happens to Maya? Does she reunite with Shahan? What is the truth about Vikrant? Why does he avoid Leyla and what are his intentions? What happens to Leyla, does she reunite with Vikrant ot she accepts Aman is the rest of the story.
The book is a short read. Initial chapters consist of the chat exchanges between Vikrant and Leyla, which was kind of monotonous. They have poetic exchanges which tends to slows down the pace of the story.
The character of Vikrant is very hard to predict. At one moment he seems to be too pleasing when he talks to Leyla, at a later point he looks to be behaving with a reason to accomplish something else. Leyla on the other hand is gentle, insecure and vulnerable.
The narration is good, except for the dialogues part which could have been minimized. The ending could have been better. I would not term this as a suspense read, since I found that element missing. It was overall a light and a quick read.
- Paperback:192 pages
- Publisher:Srishti Publishers & Distributors; First edition (10 August 2018)
Writing and Presentation: 4/5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Neha Sultania belongs to a culturally rich Punjabi family that originally hails from undivided India, now Pakistan. After her post-graduation in Business Administration, she took up banking as her career choice. A creative bent of mind has made her inclination strongly towards storytelling and poetry. Interest in mysteries and mystical nature of the universe has also made her wander into the deep occult sciences, making her a student of Vedic astrology.