If you have ever stood in a queue for your college admission process, you know why I despise it. Since my first year, I had decided that I would read a book while waiting in any queues. This (possibly my last) year’s pick was – A Quest for Spring by Monica Mujumdar Dixit.
The tale starts a lot like your typical forbidden love – to top it we have the Hindi Muslim clash. And as if that was not enough, our heroine is the daughter of an Army Colonel and the hero is the grandson and successor of the Valley royals.
Now, the thing that echoed in my mind throughout the book is that it has been years and years, still, there is a struggle for the Valley. It might be dubbed the paradise on earth, but humans have still tainted it.
So, the story revolves around these two and in a typical Indian fashion, there are duties every Indian child is bound to perform. They struggle through their duties, ambitions, the expectations people have of them and the constant conspiracies that surround them because of being related to some very important people of different factions.
I think my emotions towards the characters changed throughout the book. I was not in love with the characters, or maybe, we had a love-hate relationship.
I think I could make a book rant about this – something that I only feel when the book has very strong characters. Meanwhile, as I refrain from giving the spoilers, I think if nothing, you would definitely enjoy the development of the characters.
I did feel the book was very long. While reading, I felt like some of the parts could have been just done with a mention and instead other aspects like the actual Kashmir-Army conspiracy, the development of characters after their separation, and even the character arcs of the supporting characters could have been developed.
Thoughts While Reading: (Some Spoilers)
First all this part is set in the 90s, I think I was three year old during the time the Part I takes place. I had to google many of the references in the book. But I definitely had the opportunity to transport into my parents’ youth and understand their references.
Secondly, I was strongly rooting against the main characters in this part of the story. Simply because, I thought that the initial attraction was because of the allure of forbidden.
Some parts seemed to be just there without giving into the plot. But they were cute scenes, so, I’d let it be.
I was still reeling from the shock of the separation (even though prologue hints it). I think I truly began to love the character of Amolika Nath in this Part. She is strong, independent and while, the fellow characters often call her selfish – she will do anything for the people she loves. Unfortunately, my ship of Vikram and Amolika does not sail very far.
I think I will not understand the depths of first love, but I guess, I have to give it to Amolika for trying to move on (albeit half-heartedly).
P.S.: The dutiful hero marries the girl of grandfather’s choice, breaking my heart in the process.
I was actually hurrying to this part because I knew that Amolika and Raehan meet again here. I think it is very different from meeting a person at the age of 17 and then again in your late 30s.
This is a very crucial part of the story as all the conspiracies begin to unfold and we actually get to witness the development of characters over the years and yet, how the two of them are still the same at heart.
For the hopeless romantic within me, this was my favourite part of the story for many reasons.
First of all, it had the healing – literal in case of Raehan and his depression – and emotional healing for both our lovely characters.
Second of all, this time around I actually felt the more mature and lasting love between them rather than the allure of forbidden – which I am not a big fan of.
Thirdly, I just love when authors tie up loose ends and give the characters a chance to be happy after struggles – and actually write it down instead of giving me an open-ended ending.
As a reader kindly reminded me that I actually didn’t link the book for the last review. So here’s the link.
Find my review for I Shall Always Love You – An Indian Fantasy here.