Just as I was re-discovering my love for Scrabble after nearly a decade, thanks to the online version of the game, I came across this book put up on BlogAdda. While relationships being forged on the net, sometimes even with complete strangers are becoming quite commonplace, it was quite interesting to see the premise being Scrabble.
The book starts off with just the right amount of apprehension and excitement over a real-life meeting between WordFreak and WordDiva, two scrabble addicts bonded by the game, who are besotted with each other’s online persona, and cant wait to find out what reality holds in store for them. Being charmed by witty word-play and the ensuing engrossing chats seems relatable at many levels and hence provides an interesting start. Alisha, a divorce lawyer, and Aryan, a go-green architect quickly discover that they see nothing less than a perfect partner in each other. But what follows is a choking overdose of idyll that stretches well into more than half of the book. A beautiful, strong willed, independent Alisha. Aryan, with his killer looks, professional success, sensitivity and warmth that could spin a girl’s world. A lot of common sentiments, interests and love that blossoms surely and steadily. A whole bunch of friends, relatives and well-wishers who would just about do anything to make things work between the two of them. A dreamy farm-house and steamy love making. To cut a long story short, a hundred happy, ideal things that could frame the background for a few dozen Bollywood movies. All is well in paradise and you do not want to cynically rain on the parade, but there IS a point when you begin to wonder if all this is leading to anything at all.
And finally the grey spots start appearing when Aryan completely zones out after a squabble with Alisha. Digging deeper, Alisha, in a determined effort to patch up things between them, follows her heart all the way to London, where she slowly uncovers Aryan’s skeletons from his childhood. Amidst yet another too-good-to-be-true English setting, Alisha slowly manages to clear out the cobwebs in Aryan’s head and makes him get over the troubled memories from his past. Parental discord and its impact on children is a touchy ground to tread, and the protagonists of the book are stark examples of how it could shape the child’s psyche. The author has dealt with this part of the book with sensitivity and manages to touch a chord.
The characters are well-etched, and each plays their part to the hilt to stay in the reader’s mind. Almost every aspect of the book, from the language to the flow of the plot is highly romanticized, and if you are not the kind that melts at that, the book may grate a nerve at many points. One of those numerous books that you want to see to its end, but somehow does not manage to leave much of an impact, both while reading and after.