Zidd by Hetansh Desai is a delusional book, what it appears to be is not at all what it is. Not in a bad sense though. The story trails the journey of Parth and Vihaan, from their pre-teenage years to them entering into the stage of young adults and how the two of them end up being a support for each other in their lives despite being chalk and cheese.
Parth, the son of a tea vendor in a small city of Gujarat helps his father sell cups of tea at the railway station in return for a meager tip. While he doesn’t have the sense to business like his father, he turns out to be an extraordinary salesman after his first failed attempt and subsequent tries. Vihaan, on the other hand, is the pampered son of a businessman, who has made up his mind to not put his mind anywhere except useless stuff. But, for the lure of things he wants, and which his father won’t give him just like that, he uses his business skills to barter with him. While these two ordinary young men live their nondescript lives, there comes a time where they are thrown in together by fate. And like a honey bee to a flower, they stick together even when they have nothing in common.
What these two decide to attempt after a love rejection faced by Vihaan is nothing short of hitting a ten on the last ball to win a match, impossible and unattainable. Will they succeed or did they expect too much from their empty pockets?
Okay, to begin with, my analysis says that I found this book average, a one time read and watch (if ever a movie is made on it) While it was made to look like a romance novel, it wasn’t. In fact, the romance part was limited to only about 15% of the story, actually, it would be better to say infatuation. The major part of the story covers the protagonists, Parth and Vihaan, their characters as they grow up from wayward young boys to responsible young men. The bromance between them was better than the romance between Vihaan and his girl. The writing was funny, a mix of English and Hindi dialogues, Hinglish as we call it, with certain words used to portray a person’s background (which I didn’t feel so great about) Characterization was done well, especially for the leads, and since the whole plot rests on this feature, it was sort of unavoidable. Apart from them, no other character stands out. What I liked most about this book was its pace, fast and not dwelling on unnecessary subplots.
I had long ago given up on reading romance novels, especially by Indian authors. Fed up of the cliches, the girl meets boy and the Bollywood plotline, such novels never found a place on my shelf. I was very skeptical when I picked this book up for review and until the very end, I was so before the story turned around, and put forth a much-needed diversion from the mainstream. Yes, it had its share of oh-so-predictable moments, a lot of them to be precise, but it was okay when it all didn’t end up the way I was expecting them to.
This was a quick read. If you like stories which give the feel of that ah, so romantic, yet is not, do pick this up and once you are done, leave a comment and tell me how did you like it.