The colourful paperbacks in this store @ the Bangalore airport attracted me so much that I walked in tapping my fingers over the fresh and new stack of books, creatively selected fonts, wonderfully designed covers, dash of colors splashed within 5 × 7⅜ inches. So very attractive! Picked my pleasure for the next few days, it’s called..."Nikhil and Riya” by Ira Trivedi.
For some reason the synopsis pulled me in and I was almost impatient to start this book, I might have actually started reading even before paying at the cash counter. And boy, I have been literally flying like a light feather through this book since then because it talks so much about young love, teenage madness, and crazy school days. Ira writes passionately about that phase of life when nothing really matters…when you are such an insignificant part of this big world, it doesn’t matter which political party is leading the country, where is terrorism taking us, are women taking self-defence seriously yet …the phase of life that I left behind years ago. But it only takes an author like Ira Trivedi to hold your hand and subtlety pull you back in time without you even knowing. I have been giggling unknowingly to myself while reading this when the tele at home is on, the kid is running around and husband is talking to a friend on the phone. In the midst of all this, I am in a world of Riya and Nikhil’s residency school envisioned through Ira’s eyes. I kind of know how Riya’s house looks, in my head their classroom resembles mine and her running track is like the one I used to run on the NTU campus. I wonder how mysteriously our brains work; some imaginations are led by the author and others are deeply connected to your own past.
The way this Nikhil has fallen for Riya is adorable and fallen over what…a girl in her school uniform and a lightly tied ponytail uttering words, ‘Prem ma’am?’. Is there anything exotic about asking permission to enter the classroom? Not really but it’s the age and that feeling of having only a few things to worry about, even the slightest of the cute things grab your attention. Nikhil, brightest student in the class, a nerd wearing spectacles, would do anything for a glance of Riya because he can’t stand not seeing her every day and this girl, one carefree practical headstrong soul, least interested in Mathematics, whose life is all about her passion for running and breaking her own records. She doesn’t say much but whatever little she has said in the book does have a much bigger meaning, like ‘You don't fall in love, Specs, you only rise’ or ‘this day isn’t going to last forever Specs” and more. By the way, Specs (as in spectacles) is her name for the nerd Nikhil.
It’s an extremely light read, for many a little too common or ordinary probably. However, the essence of this book lies in the time leap it will take you through and play some older chords in your head. Don’t worry too much about the simple linguistic nature and a predictable plot of this book. A novel doesn’t always need a big twist as long as the author manages to cut through the stranger’s wall and make a place in the reader’s heart.