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Messed Up! But all for Love Paperback – 1 May 2017
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About the Author
Arvind Parashar is an author and painter hailing from Dehradun. He has been a corporate leader in various firms like GE, Dell and Genpact. He enjoys road trips and gives motivational lectures at various educational institutes.
From the Publisher
Q and A with Arvind Parashar
Q: Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What is your professional background? Why did you write this book?
Arvind: At the outset, I would like to thank you for considering me for this discussion.
Well, I hail from this beautiful valley called Dehradun. I studied science and computers from my home town and then a diploma in insurance from the U.S. I have worked in leadership roles at GE, Dell and Genpact, to name a few. My profession took me to various cities in India and abroad, especially America. I looked at life closely, met up with various people, made friends and that left a long lasting mark. So through my life, that influence carried with me and that led to the writing of this novel.
Yes, there is lot of suspense added and a whole lot of imagination along with personal experiences in building the storyline. I love the thriller and romance genres. And I realised there was a need to fill this space of romantic thriller in Indian literary space and hence the idea of a romantic thriller trilogy came to my mind. When it did, Messed Up! But All For Love happened.
Q: Please tell us a bit about Messed Up! But All For Love
Arvind: The book is a tale of two couples leading different mundane and crazy lives and how they come together. Neil (the protagonist) and Gauri, Som and Drishti are two couples. Then, there are a set of friends who play a pivotal role in further messing up their relationships. What this book deals with is an interesting set of sequences, where the reader will know what's going on but the characters don't know. And later, readers also get surprised due to the twists involved. Drishti is abducted and Neil gets framed for it. Rest, I would love for the readers to discover.
Q: Which character in the book is your favourite?
Arvind: This is a question which a lot of my readers also ask me, and when I answer this one, I am not trying to be politically correct. Trust me, all these characters are part of my life and they will remain with me for long. More so, not just because I have written this book, also the fact that this is a trilogy. The protagonist and folks around him will by and large feature in all the parts. But when you look at this from my readers' standpoint, they do talk about Neil, Gauri or Drishti as being their favourite.
Q: You have a strong social cause associated with your book. Can you please tell us about the activities involved?
Arvind: Yes, I have been associated with social causes for a long time now. In my early corporate days at GE, we used to have Elfun, then I was part of Joy of giving campaign and even got featured in the Mint for my association with the cause of education. Now, with this book, I have pledged my profits towards Spandana Rehabilitation Center in Udupi. It is towards intellectually specially abled people. The cause is very close to my heart. We also did a video of it and we have it on social media. Also, during my book launch, we shared it with the media and readers across.
Q: What’s next for you?
Arvind: As I stated earlier, this is a romantic thriller trilogy and the next one is the book two of messed up series. Readers can expect a whole lot of love and thrill in that too. It is a prequel to this one and deals with the college life of the protagonist and much more.
Q: Is there any method to the way you write?
Arvind: There is no fixed rule to the way I write. Honestly speaking, I always end up changing the plot during the course of writing and you would find the final book quite different from my initial synopsis. I do give a couple of weeks’ break in writing the crucial parts, so that the writing is more evolved. And yes, I write practically everywhere – laptop, notepads, tissue papers and at times on the palm when I get some thoughts and I can't find any paper to jot it down. The writing experience is almost like Nirvana.
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The book starts off very well. The prologue shows Neil getting out from jail and heading to Gurgaon from Mumbai. It is very suspenseful and I could see that the book would be a bit intense.
This isn’t a very happy book. We see how Neil and Gauri’s marriage crumble and how he has a brief affair with Dhrishti. It was sad to see their relationship being destroyed due to misunderstandings. There is a lot of drama in this book. It also gets really cheesy at times. The kissing and love scenes made me cringe as they were not written well. The protagonists travel a lot in the book and I think that made the book a bit more interesting. There is a twist towards the end that I think made the book better and stopped me from losing interest.
This book doesn’t have very remarkable characters. I didn’t love Neil but I did feel bad for him throughout. I didn’t like Gauri much. She didn’t seem to trust Neil and they never talked through their problems. There was a huge lack of understanding and communication in their relationship.
The narration of this book was a little different than I usually read. Neil is telling the whole story of what all happened to him to his boss. It shifts from the days of Neil and Gauri’s marriage to the present. The book got confusing at times and this format didn’t really work for me.
I liked the writing style of the author for the most part. The story is gripping and fast-paced and I could get easily get through it in one sitting.
Overall, I’ll say this is a nice book to read in one sitting. It mainly focuses on the problems that arise in a marriage or a relationship. It wasn’t that interesting for me and I didn’t find anything exciting. I do recommend it if you’re looking for a short romantic read.
“I received a copy of this book from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.”
*Let us jump into the Mess…
Gauri & Neil are a happily married couple. The two are ready to go to any limits for the sake of their love. Neil has his bunch of friends- Tom, Jerry & James, while Gauri shares all her sorrows with her friend, Mehr. They often spend time together, go to vacations & make fun.
Problems start arising when Neil decides to lose some weight to surprise Gauri & starts meeting Srinya for the same purpose. Gauri dislikes Srinya due to some reasons. While the couple is on their Thanksgiving vacation, in Cuba, along with their friends, Srinya is also found to be there. Misunderstandings thus become inevitable & lead to a spat between Gauri & Neil. But, ultimately it is Love that wins.
Drishti, a News Anchor, is married to Somesh, who is a Police Officer. The two have their own share of problems that arise mainly because their expectations from each other remain unfulfilled. Both the couples’ paths cross in Cuba, when Neil has an altercation with Somesh. And henceforth their destinies start playing with them.
A chain of events starts unfolding once they are back in India. One thing leads to another & both the couples are now seeking divorce. Neil has spent a few days in the Jail. Is it destiny playing its cards or is there someone behind all this? Can the two couples discover love once again?
To be honest, I’ve many issues with this novel. First of all, I really don’t know when will Indian authors learn to write a romance without Bollywood. I think, they simply can’t. There is, undoubtedly, a lot of Bollywood elements & the mention of Bollywood in this particular novel.
The other issue, that I had, is with the narrative technique. The author has employed First Person POV, so the story is told from Neil’s perspective. But strangely, Neil can narrate whatever is going on in other’s lives. He can tell us at what time Drishti slept on a particular day, how was she feeling at some point. That’s really insane! But, if any such technique exists, I request you people to let me know about it.
Neil is narrating the whole story to his boss, Ganga, after he is released from Jail. And it is quite strange to see how Ganga has nothing else to do but listen to his story, even in the office hours. We don’t know how well Neil & Ganga are bonded, but Neil does narrate to her even the love making scenes in detail. So, yes! there are elements of Erotica present in this novel.
It took me a lot of time to finish this book, considering the length. It is so because I never had the urge to return to this book. The liberal use of Hindi in the text (which, I must say, is in abundance) made me avoid this book. It never got tempting at any point, except the last few chapters. Yes, that is where the thriller portion kicks start & gets over within 15- 20 pages. But the ending again was not very impressive one.
There are a lot of abusive words, as are often used in a group of boys. But I didn’t like them. Neil & his friends seemed irritating to me, but others might enjoy reading about them. There are also a lot of scenes where they are smoking & drinking. The author has made sure to include a note on their harmful effects in the beginning of the book.
I feel the author wanted to include a lot of things in this book (and so he has done) to have a greater audience. But he has failed in it. Had he written this book only as a Romance, I think, it would have been a better book. We all have heard, “The Jack of all is Master of none.” I’m really surprised how this book has managed to get such nice ratings on Amazon & Goodreads. I think it is overrated there. But some people might have enjoyed reading it. It is okay for a one time reading.
My Rating: *** (3/5)
*I received a review copy from Writersmelon. Views expressed are entirely personal & unbiased.*
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