WRITING STYLE: 2.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 2.5/5
A cocktail of ‘Five Point Someone’ and a few other lesser-known works, and strikingly similar to one of our recently reviewed books, The Redeemers, A Maverick Heart is a convenient blend of all the tried and tested formulas. But as is the case with anything with a timeworn concept, this book too is anything but inspiring. The strong characters try to speak up but always end up being overshadowed by the clichéd “life at IIT” concept. The message of the story, though loud and clear, is bogged down by trivial references to the IITian way of life.
Rahul, Richita and Neerav are the esteemed students of IIT Bombay, one of India’s most revered institutes. Rahul and Richita are quite fond of each other and deeply in love. Their love, though, is not the sorts you will come across in regular novels or “Masala” Hindi movies. It is the sort marked by patience and restraint, guarded by limitations and practicality and it is as a result of this practicality that Richita ends up marrying not for love, but for the respect of her family. Neerav is a close friend of both Rahul and Richita who keeps featuring in the chapters every now and then.
The protagonist Rahul, though brilliant in every way that one can be assessed on, is discarded by his professors and the academia due to his love of fighting for social causes. He associates himself with a cause, fights for it but eventually ends up losing a year in college along with his one true love Richita. To add to his agony, the cause he is fighting for shows no progress. Life moves on, and so does their story and in the end, it all manages to end up on a happy note.
A Maverick Heart has a good and clear message and a number of strong characters who bring out that message very loud and clear. The idea of capitalism and practicality is shunned and the way it is done is very convincing. It makes us reflect on the true purpose of our lives – whether to earn and spend is more important than being happy. The characters Rahul, Richita and Neerav are beautifully portrayed and are indeed inspiring in their own capacities.
The language is simple and easily understandable, though the book is marked with a number of editing errors. The things which are most unimpressive are the unnecessarily lengthy conversations which, after a few chapters, manage to take up the form of preaching and teachings. They stop being dialogues and instead become sermons which are most annoying to read. This makes the book redundantly long and the chapters dull and dreary.
In the end, by the time you reflect back on what you just finished reading, you are left with nothing but an annoyance for having read so many pages in futility. A Maverick Heart could have been much better, had the author taken a note of a few things before finalizing the manuscript. The cover and blurb also do not help much. I really hope that the author is taking his notes this time.