Friday, May 31, 2013

Love and Lokpal

Keeping in the spirit of 'A room of her own', I succubmed to the phenomenon of 'A book of her own'. Indian writers are churning out new books every week. Most of the books in the market fall in the IIT/IIM category, popularised by Chetan Bhagat. They contain travails of love and live and offer a commentary on the world from the point of view of today's youth. Nobody can vouch for the language or the content, but one thing is certainly true. These books instill the habit of reading in english in Indian youth. These are the stories of the people themselves. They have the same insights, concerns and ideologies and hence, these books become favourites of the students and young professionals.

The 2011 Lokpal Bill movement was, in many ways, a turning point for me. I had begun my FYBA. I was reading classics and books about Indian history. I was writing about the politics in India. I was immersed in a world where the need for change was glaring - I could see that, but I knew not how to bring about this change. The Lokpal Bill movement started around that time. It was love at first sight for me. At the Saras baug protest, I was one of the protestors, carrying a banner and shouting myself hoarse. I attended lectures, went to protests, wrote about the cause furiously, gave impromptu speeches in front of my friends in the canteen. I was enchanted. We all were. India was going to change. We all believed it. The air was on fire with expectations and emotions. The transformation that everyone had been longing for was here, and we all pinned our hopes on it.

It was around that time the idea of the book came about. Harsh Agarwal, a good friend and agent who runs The Asylum played an integral part in the development of the plot. I hashed and rehashed the characters, played them, watched them change. Indeed, in the course of the movement, I had seen many Shloks and Kaveris. I had seen their struggle, their beliefs and passions.

I finished the book at the start of the year 2013.

Book blurb:

Shlok Kulkarni, an architect by day and an Assassin's creed junkie by night is being bombarded with eligible girls by his matchmaking mama. In a bid to escape her and maybe check out a few hot girls while he’s at it, Shlok flees to Delhi, where a massive protest for the Lokpal Bill has been building up.

Kaveri Gokhale has been searching for a cause her whole life. When the winds of the Lokpal blow through the country, she eagerly catches the next train to Delhi to witness history.

When Shlok runs into Kaveri at Jantar Mantar, the sparks are undeniable. As their relationship blossoms, Kaveri discovers a dark secret that leaves her devastated . . . and endangers the fate of billion others. Will Shlok and Kaveri’s love wither or will it withstand the uncertainties of the corrupt politics? Can love truly conquer all ideologies?

 Here is the author bio:

Pooja Wanpal considers reading books the sole aim of her life. In addition to writing, she gives unsolicited advice to people and tries indefatigably to avoid her textbooks. She studies at Fergusson College, Pune and spends most of her time chatting with people over endless cups of coffee in the canteen. Owing to her almost unhealthy enthusiasm for politics, she was a part of the crowds that protested for the Lokpal Bill in 2011. The event left an indelible inspiration on her, and further conversations and debates about the movement culminated into this novel. She can be reached at

Preorder the book here


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