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It is a drama in the air and a cat and mouse game involving India’s security and the fundamentalists.
It is a high voltage game where suspense and thrill will make you compel to fasten your seat belt from the take off ……….
It is a brilliant move of chess by some invisible mastermind…………..
It is a Checkmate- a fresh suspense thriller by Hrishikesh Joshi.
Two contemporary matters of international interest has visibly inspired the writer in writing the book-the first, is the hijack of Air India flight IC 814 by Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a Pakistan-based Islamic extremist group and storming of the Jinnah International Airport by five assailants. A thriller was craved out by the writer from these international matters, which has every potential to be converted into an excellent Bollywood suspense movie. It is the sheer speed of the story- no, not as fast as a supersonic, but as fast as a racing car -that will give this newly released story an edge…..
In spite of being influenced by two matters of international relations-the world of the creation belongs to the creator only. The story line is original and the imagination has reached its zenith to produce a suspense story which is appealing and can impart visual effect to the reader.
Let us come to the story then. Justice Shastry-the chief justice of Mumbai High court was used as a pawn by some unknown men to hijack a London bound plane. Despite slight weakness for women, Justice Shastry is honest and truly a pride of his profession. But the unknown people had used a bait that is worthy of compelling him doing anything in the world-they had captured her dear wife. When he first got the kidnapper’s call, he felt
“His brains seemed to have jammed. He desperately hoped that he was in some kind of a nightmare. But he recovered fast. He gave the head a good shake and stood up quickly. He crossed silently as pain shot through his remaining right leg where the artificial one was attached; he paced the room twice, summoned his butler and asked him to hail a rickshaw.”
The writer has shown promise in depicting the characters-their emotional haven, their attachment, their mental ups and downs! Language is first paced and narration, as I have told earlier has given a cinematic effect to the reader.
At first he thought it was a call for ransom, but his thought was short lived. Soon he discovered what he was to perform and was frozen in terror…..
And inside the plane he did exactly the same that was told him to do-
“He made his way to seat number 13A whose occupant was a round spectacled man, tall dark and sporting a typical Islamic goatee. The man got up and extended his hand, his expression lethal, venomously determined. Shastry handed him the two pistols.”
But who are they and why they are making such desperate move to hijack a plane-risking their own lives in the gamble? Trail leads the reader to a conspiracy- a conspiracy by a mastermind from Pakistan to destabilise India’s security and
“Three of our fidyaeen still rot in Indian jails. And they shall be freed, Insallah, we shall free them.” And he told them the plan.”
Is there any hope? Is there any light a t the end of the tunnel, to free hostage from the clutches of the most brutal, most fanatic insurgency groups that the world has ever witnessed. And that too without risking India’s threat to internal security…….
The Government of India is at bay, the external affairs ministry is a mere spectator….
And then appears the savoir- the dashing Vikram Roy, chief secretary of RAW and as precondition of the rule of the game-whose identity is shrouded in mystery. A tantalising investigation leading to the brutal murder of three of his undercover agents leads him to the linking with a bigger conspiracy- a conspiracy that is enough to shake the nation.
But there are questions to be answered- how? When? Who? Answers lead Vikram to a shadowy world where his comrade- in-arms may turn out to be a betrayer- playing an evil game to make the nation facing a threat.
Or was he?
Unpredictability throughout of the book gives readers an enthralling experience all along, they seriously deserve-where unexpected truth gets revealed towards the climax and…..
And as the old saying goes, evil may lie on your own streets or may not. You have to find, to detect……detection power of somebody made this book a really enjoyable read……..
Now who is that somebody?
Let it be left to the reader to be discovered, because revealing too much will play a spoilsport.
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The argument is non ending –regarding the philosophy of mind.
It can hear, can sees an information-but the information might not be stored in the consciousness of the individual. But it is not lost either-it is stored in the deepest hiding place of the mind.
Because mind is far deeper than Mariana trench!
The information that are disturbing to us are automatically gets stored in our unconscious minds. But sometimes they are so disturbing that they return back again and again in our nightmare- sometimes they get so cruel so as to control our emotions and behaviour.
Even the haunting may rise to such a difficult level that the helpless soul imagines of ending all misery- getting relieved of all pain!
Unable to cope with such stress that may tear up the life like a piece of paper- unable to cope up with life, the individual may think of a separate entity- an absolutely new person within- saying-‘just go. Destroy yourself.’
Or pronounce-‘what you are doing?’
This psychological paradigm has been well explored by R. Nazir in his new suspense psychological fiction ‘Bearing Witness.’
Vinod is simply a next door young lad-straight from the generation Y. But if you have time to sneak a peak into his personal life-then you will get, well shocked. He has a loving mom and a bright future-but he seems to be getting apathetical with life.
So he says to his caring mom-the same person who gave him father’s affection and mother’s love-
‘I don’t know…I was punishing myself, I guess. Trying to hate you, shutting you out …..And somehow, it got harder and harder to see the way back’, I looked into her eyes. ‘I don’t want to live like that anymore…..holding on to regrets that only hurts everyone. I want to move on. If you could forgive me…..’
Reader is bound to get shell shocked when a young guy utters some self destructive talks. And it was not originated form some philosophical idea-no, certainly not. It is material-crude and real!
A tantalizing nightmare returns back in his dreams- last cry of someone, seeing somebody getting burned alive in front of him, hearing the last moments of breathe of somebody-somebody very near and dear to him! But the picture of somebody is grey, a bit hazy-like a dark silhouette which has a perimeter-but no distinctive shape.
Vinod thinks he is responsible for this. Deep inside him, somebody shouts-‘you did nothing to save her!’
or could he have done something, at all?
Yes, that someone was she and she often in his dreams. Unable to cope up, he resorts to the path of self destruction, while someone deep inside him tries relentlessly to rescue him from that booby trap of life!
And wonder of wonders, when that she comes in her dreams and –‘when Anna appeared in his dream that night, and offered to satisfy his every whim, he hesitated, but it was not enough to stop him. It should have ended there, when he woke up, but it didn’t. He had seen her bare and willing, his subconscious had expressed his surreptitious desire, and he had satisfied it without a second thought. He couldn’t see any other way anymore.’
It is a strange world of mind-where the boundary of real and imaginary gets erased up- where the imaginary world darling can easily take the place of real world lover of our protagonist and another personality deep inside the mind of Vinod gets control over the real Vinod.
Or does he?
like a sudden gush of wind some pictures crosses his mind- a retrieval from his past memory- a memory that haunts him down day and nought, in awakening and in sleep.
“I shivered as if the horror had been my own. Then he woke up. He looked at her for a moment, he felt derision, and there was no true emotion. To him, the touch of her skin felt as repulsive as snake slithering over his body. He struggled frantically, pushed her away and jumped to his feet.”
Who are they? Why they did come in his memory in silent feet?
For the moment, let it be a mystery to the reader-as the protagonist is a mystery himself.
the story takes quite a fascinating shape when our young lad explores deep inside his mind-startling facts are revealed and the story line gets a whole new dimension.
Is there any way out of this tornado of life?
Where does destiny take him and the two women who are perhaps closest to his young heart?
Let all these are suspense.
However one hint is there that when I ended up with the story I was encountered with something unexpected- the same surprises that I face with page by page reading. And this is a statutory warning to the reader –please do not miss a page while reading, otherwise you may miss vital essence of the story!
However a small comment at the end, for an exceedingly fast paced story like that it would have been better if the narration is a little bit faster! once started with the story, nobody would like to stumble at mid path…………………..
Because philosophy always can’t explain what happens in heaven and earth!
And this non explanatory nature makes our life so enthralling!
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