If you’re somewhere between your late-teens and early-twenties, then you should be sure to relate to every word in the text. For readers younger, parts of the book describe certain universal emotions one experiences through college life; the older readers can nod in affirmation to the same!
Namrata Gupta is a graduate in Literature from Hans Raj College, Delhi University. Her book, A Silent Promise, describes despair, heartbreak, revival, love and loss within a few hundred pages, leaving the reader a little intrigued about what the future of the protagonist Avantika Sareen holds for her after every chapter. The author has beautifully captured everyday instances of college life: be it meeting an old friend and prospective date-interest in college cafeteria or the frivolous period of festivals across colleges, a feature vividly visible in Delhi University.
The book is set in Hindu College, DU and the locations used for subsidiary settings are places every student in the University would be familiar with. The apprehensions of teenage love and the everyday battle of coping with sudden losses add a touch of insightful emotions into the storyline which binds the reader.
The author has spent a considerable amount describing the wave of emotions and unending chains of thoughts anyone going through a break-up faces and how even a slight glimmer of hope, however faint it may be, looks promising. What makes the book different, however, is the author’s choice of an unconventional love story between the protagonist Avantika and her teacher at college, Keith whom she, till the end of the book, chooses to call as ‘Keith Sir’.
The book challenges many conventional ideas at multiple levels. It urges the reader to consider the futility of the social roles assigned to each person, under whose burden the idea of individuality ceases to exist. Avantika’s realisations are similar to anyone’s of her age.
“Almost everybody in this world can’t bear to see the other person being better than him.”
It’s in these short sentences that she makes the reader relate to her life.
“…as he grew older, his Christmas list got smaller and the things he really wanted could no longer be bought.”
Keith and Avantika’s story is offbeat and chooses to break multiple norms; it’s unfazed and fearless. One would simply keep on reading to know what the newly-find solace in Avantika’s life shall turn out to be like. The end, though, will make you question if life is fair to everyone, after all!
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