PLOT: 2/5
CLIMAX: 2.5/5

I was really happy when I received When You Became My Life from Shrishti Publishers; reason was that the author and I had something in common, and as any mortal being would have done, I too developed a soft corner for the author.

The link which we shared was that, just like me, the author also belonged to the city of love, Agra.

Really happy that finally, I am getting a chance to promote a part of Agra’s rich cultural & literary heritage, I expectantly started reading the book. But alas, one must never be too hopeful.

Needless to say, When You Became My Life did not live up to my expectations and below are all the reasons why.

Before getting on to the positives and the negatives, I would like to describe the storyline. Neev is a 20-year-old man from Dadri, Haryana who, after having lost his parents and everything which he once called his own, arrives at his friend Aadi’s place in Agra.

As a step towards starting life anew, he soon starts working as a lecturer at Gyanlal Girls College, where his friend Aadi also works as the accounts manager.

As Neev starts settling into his new job and new home, he finds himself attracted to Aashi who is Aadi’s sister and a student in the same college where Neev currently teaches.

Knowing that getting into a relationship with Aashi would be nothing but a breach of trust which Aadi and his parents have shown in Neev, he vows not to fall for Aashi.

But twisted are the ways of destiny and love, for Neev soon finds himself irrevocably in love with her and thus starts seeing her in secret. On one such occasion of their secret rendezvous, their relationship gets discovered and Neev is scowled upon by everyone in Aadi’s family.

Finally, after the much convincing and highly stereotyped melodrama, as their relationship was just on the verge of being granted acceptance, Aashi falls ill and is found to be suffering from an incurable brain haemorrhage.

Life could have been perfect for Neev, but that’s not what fate had in store for him.

The story, though fresh, is marked by boring conversations and narratives, which had no purpose but to unnecessarily add to the length.

The language used is very simple and of little literary value. Some plots, I felt were rushed through too quickly to let the readers appreciate their presence.

One example of this is the blooming of love between Neev and Aashi. Before the readers even realize, Aashi and Neev are conclusively in love with each other and have vowed to always stay together.

In addition to all this, one major point which disappointed me was the use of Agra in the love story.

With a little more creativity and imagination on the author’s part, the love story could have been made more interesting by effectively using the Taj Mahal or city of Agra, as a major romantic setting.

Consider this, a love story blooming in the backdrop of Taj Mahal, which just like Mumtaz and Shahjahan’s, meets a tragic end. I am sure that would have definitely made heads turn.

All in all, I would give When You Became My Life a two and a half stars and recommend it as an average read.