PLOT: 3/5 CHARACTERS: 2.5/5 WRITING: 2.5/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 2.5/5
“For the viewer, this is entertainment: something that dysfunctional people do, something that could happen to them or to people they know personally. But my reaction was not that of a common man, because I had been involved in a gruesome murder mystery when my father was murdered by people who wanted to steal my flat. Having been at the epicentre of a murder that shocked the nation for months and that got played out live on national news, I have a different perspective on the Shraddha Murder Case….”– Anuj Tikku, Shredding Shraddha
I doubt there would be an Indian who might have not heard of the Shraddha Walkar murder case that rocked this nation last year. Shraddha Walkar was a 27-year-old Indian woman who was murdered by her live-in partner Aaftab Amin Poonawala, and later, her body was disposed of by chopping into 35 pieces and then discarding these parts in the Chhatarpur forest area over a period of multiple days.
As the author suggests in the introduction, the book narrates not just a story but also delves deeper into issues plaguing the current youth. Why is the Indian youth falling into a pattern of toxic relationships, that often lead them on the path of murder and suicide? What is the role of the criminal justice system in India, and what is the role of parents, and dating apps? And whether there is any love jihad angle to it?
Having been caught up in a nationalized high-profile murder case himself, the author, through his experiences, also intends to acquaint the reader with the police investigations, and the Indian Penal System, and describes the nitty-gritty such as the various rules that the police have to follow, the chargesheet that has to be submitted in court, and the importance of narcotics test in getting to the bottom of the truth.
Who can read?
The book is a short read, with a little over 120 pages. Written in an easy language, it can be picked by beginners and can be read by people who like true crime novels and books.
The writing is crisp and uses easy language to appeal to a large number of readers. The book sheds light on the current trend of dating that is prevalent in the younger generation. With an increased degree of mobility and financial independence, the youth are living life on their own terms, now more than ever. But as liberating as it sounds, it also comes with a lot of inherent challenges. This case is a textbook example of what happens when family relations are cut off completely.
It also signals young girls to watch out for red flags in a relationship and urges them to take action before it’s too late.
Coming to the characters, they are sketched well as a good amount of thought has been given to their picturization and execution. The background stories are quite relevant and helpful in piquing the readers’ interest. A large part of the story moves forward through dialogues that happen between different characters, and this is good as it breaks the monotony of tedious monologues.
What did I like?
I like how the author has tried to delve into the backstories of the main characters. He doesn’t mention if this part is fictionalized or taken from true facts, but we do get the background of the killer, his family, his early days, his likes, dislikes, and childhood experiences – all of which have a role to play in shaping any individual.
The text is also complemented with relevant pictures that grace it, making the book more visually appealing.
What I didn’t like?
Like is the case with most books by the author, Shredding Shraddha also comes with a generous share of editing mistakes. There are grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and copy-editing mistakes that take away the reading pleasure to a large extent. There are certain places where the text has been repeated over, like the same paragraphs have been mentioned again and again, which confuses the reader and takes away the brownie points.
In the end, Shredding Shraddha is a true crime drama that beams the spotlight on one of the most horrific and brutal murders of our times. Reading this story is not just an eye-opener for the Indian public but also imperative for those who are in such relationships.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Shredding Shraddha using the link below.