Top critical review
A fight against Rape : A must read.
3 November 2015
Kirtida Gautam has divulged into the mind of a rapist in her novel #IAm16ICanRape. I found the package, overall, very interesting. Especially, at a way it has been presented. Even before a reader gets into the story, the first thing that will attract him is the title itself. Clear, precise and above all hitting at the younger audience. The name itself is a satire, questioning the law and mocking at the young mind of the rapist.
The way the chapters are numbered is interesting. Innovative but whether successful or not only time will tell. :D
"It might seem that rape is a feminist issue. It is not. It is a battle for masculine which females are forced to fight against."
The story is of a 16-year-old boy, Aarush Kashyap, who has everything in his life. Looks, family, money and the adoration of many females. He should have been happy, satisfied but apparently his mind always tells him that he is way above others.- a demigod – one who could get away with anything, even rape. There is no mystery here as to whether he has raped or not. The mystery is whether the girl will get the justice not.
The author has studied not only the law of our country in reference to rape, but also the psychology of a rapist. Frankly speaking, I really don't care what goes inside the mind of these idiots. But this book got me to think that maybe if we can pinpoint at the root cause, there might still be a turning point for humanity to survive.
An array of characters…
I cannot say that only Aarush is the main protagonist, antagonist of the story but rather every character has been given a thought process, actions which take the story foreword and somehow create a mesh, a cloak, around Aarush. Every chapter is the point of view of a character that propagates the story to another level, feeding the reader with titbits of information about the night when Shubhangi was raped.
No one knew anything yet each contributed a clue as to what had happened that night. And then, there is always Aarush, at the backdrop, mocking the discovery. Almost like the game of truth and dare. Is this the truth? Did he really dare to do that?
Aarush did have a balanced upbringing but as they say grandparents can be very lenient to their grandchildren. His grandfather, Rudransh, who never cared for his own son, Mrigank, poured out all his love on Aarush. He took great pride on Aarush's achievements and Aarush, with his high IQ, never failed him. Psychologically, I feel that Bob, as Aarush lovingly call him, created the first curve in Aarush's mind-when he told Aarush the truth about his birth.
The author brought out many pre-conceived notions that is existing in our society today. A girl who goes out at night has a lose moral. A girl who drinks beer with strangers is ready to be raped [though personally I feel, girl or boy, should first use their brains and take precautions against strangers in today's world].But nothing justifies rape.
The mind of Aarush…
Is a very analytical zone. I can write a thesis on that but for now it is suffice to say that he's really a very complex character. Highly intelligent, very resourceful and very very bitter. The sketch of the mind of a rapist. A person who enjoys BDSM, playing with emotions, playing with lives and marvels at his own skill of duplicity. I can truthfully say Aarush scares me.
The character that touched me...
Rightfully I should say, Bob. Larger-than-life, successful and a man who stood for the truth, even at the cost of losing something that was very precious to him. But the one who touched my heart, is Pihu. The young girl, poles apart from Aarush. There was a moment, in the story when I felt that Pihu would be his salvation. She brought such innocence to the otherwise complex characters. But then they say, either you go with the flow or you lose the battle.
Justice met ?....
Maybe the author wanted to keep the authentic pattern that life follows. But I did not like as to what happened to Aarush. If the author was intentionally trying to keep the fire of anger burning inside the reader, she has succeeded. More than that, I cannot say for you will have to read it to see if the ending is justified or not.
Check out my reasoning for the star rating here