Monday, February 12, 2018

Book Review: Love in Lutyens' Delhi by Amitabh Pandey

Title: Love In Lutyens' Delhi
Author: Amitabh Pandey
Publisher: Pan Macmillan India 

Amitabh Pandey’s ‘Love in Lutyens’ Delhi’ is the story of two childhood sweethearts who grow up amidst different social upbringings and come to see life not through rose-tinged glasses by the time their story culminates. Written partly in the epistolary (read e-mails) form, the novel is grounded in realistic conflicts. The core relationships are authentic and memorable, and the conclusion is satisfying.

As the story progresses we learn that Akriti and Sanjay were kindergarten friends and then lovers in college before hitting the real world. With bureaucrats for parents, Sanju’s world is one of power, privilege and entitlement. Akku, on the other hand, is brought up by a single mother and a smart and sassy editor for an aunt with commitment issues. What follows is something out of a standard urban scenario and predictable to a certain degree. Sanju’s mind is in turmoil as he chooses to abandon his dreams and, like his parents, looks to the Civil Services for what he thinks will be a meaningful career. Meanwhile, Akku, armed with a BTech from IIT, is jetting off to a land of systems design and fun-loving computer geniuses.

The story is nothing new but the way Amitabh has managed the pace is commendable. It doesn’t bore the reader. The writer’s genius lies in his projection of Lutyens’ Delhi — not just as a place, but as a character demanding attention. Amitabh has portrayed Lutyens’ as the senior sarkari portion of New Delhi where power, and those who wield it, reside. Here, love is not enough; “waiting for a plum posting is.” So, can Akku and Sanju’s love survive these growing differences? Or will the compulsions of Lutyens’ Delhi stand in the way of their togetherness?  Read and find it for yourself.

To sum it, Love in Lutyens’ Delhi has a well-crafted plot with interesting revelations about living in the so-called modern times.

Amitabh Pandey studied economics at St. Stephen’s College and Delhi School of Economics. He taught economics at an undergraduate college of Delhi University and then joined the Indian Railways where he worked for twenty-four years, during the course of which he conceptualized, implemented and managed the railways online ticket reservation system at the IRCTC. In 2007, Amitabh shifted to the private sector and spent five years building business software. He now lives in Noida and writes full-time.

I'd like to thank the publisher for letting me review the book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading! 

* I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
** Picture courtesy: ,

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