A Broken Man , A Review

A Broken Man, a Review
Akash Verma, the bestselling author of two previous novels appears to have done it again with A Broken Man, published by Shristi.
This is a love story, but not just another love story. It is a story about politics, caste, student movements, the vernacular versus English divide, culture shock and the creative process.
The protagonist is a dalit boy from the backwaters of India’s hinterland who comes to a city to try and escape poverty through education. Here he gets involved in the ugly underbelly of student politics in order to survive. He also encounters the idealistic version of student politics, but as an adversary.
This encounter changes him, and ultimately changes the very course of his life. He finds the lodestar of his life, which brings a new focus in his very being. This happens when he saves the life of a Brahmin girl who was a student leader and daughter of a prominent politician during an attempt on her life.
This results in his discovery of a new world and a new kind of people, so far totally outside his experience. He finds love, finds heartbreak, uncovers his creative being and ultimately changes the course of his life to become a celebrity in Mumbai.
I do not wish to disclose much of the twists in the story, which keeps flashing back and forth in time between Mumbai and Lucknow, and is told as a story the protagonist is telling his driver during a long drive to Lucknow in a quest to reunite with his lost love.
The growth of the shy rustic boy who only knew disdain and accepted that as his due to the acclaimed writer in Bollywood is the fairy tale of his life, which his good fairy, his lost love, made possible,is the real story.
It is a story about hope

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