My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
GAWAAHI : my thoughts
There are such fascinating characters and situations in this novel that clearly show the true abilities of the author Surender Mohan Pathak and proves that he is much more than just a pulp-writer.
Firstly, there is the deliciously complex and layered character of elder brother (Neelesh, a cop). He seems so real , his mannerism and behaviour so rooted to reality that I dare say this is the most real portrayal of a cop in a novel that I have read so far. He is not a flag bearer of bombastic heroism, neither is he a daredevil anti-hero sort of a character. He is just a plain, pragmatic man helplessly stuck in the cobwebs associated with the job of a policeman. He is corrupt, true; but no more than the cop next to him and not because he likes the perks associated with it but because its the way of the trade.
On the other hand, there is the superb character of his younger brother, who has a touch of sweet naivety and idealism. And Neelesh is is genuinely concerned for him, not because he hates his idealistic sermons but because he knows it could get him into troubles that he can never foresee himself. That's it, no more, no less.
For what they were worth, because of his links with the mob and nefarious politicians, Neelesh does get into a hell of a mess while putting his brother's life in jeopardy too. The dilemma that he faces, the almost unanswerable questions that he is forced to ponder upon, remind us of Arjuna in Mahabharata. But the characters never turn into archetypes. They remain what they are.
And one is bound to seriously start rooting for them, hoping that they could find a way out of the mess.
Although the end is a little too convenient for a novel that has such a great buid up, still it is a worthy read just for the tough moral questions that it raises through the pro(?)tagonist and for reinstating one's believe in the fact that Pathak ji is still holding the flag high for the Hindi pulp fiction genre.
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