A Love Affair that Became a Story

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Pankajam reviews In the Flickering of an Eye, a novel by Neelam Saxena Chandra, which is a love story between two of the same gotra. The panchayat and the community are against the of these two lovers. Find out more, in Different Truths.

In The Flickering of an Eye by Neelam Saxena Chandra

www.Lifi Publications.com/ISBN 978-93-82536239

Price Rs. 225.00/ Pages 172

The love story of Vinay Dev and Manju, both neighbours hailing from Dhanoi village makes a compelling read as it unfolds and makes the want to sit through and finish it at one stretch. The flame of love between the two started to blossom when Manju, despite standing a fair chance of winning a  volleyball match deliberately loses it and makes Vinay’s team win with a view to boost his self-esteem.  From then onwards, slowly and progressively love between them flourishes, but being from the same Gotra, they were not supposed to enter into marriage as per the belief and panchayat rulings.  Also, precedence existed where in similar instances, the lovers were killed by their own people. However, Vinay and Manju were not ready to accede to the customs, which they believed were neither humane nor logical.

But the love affairs having become known to Manu, Manju’s repressive brother and through him their families, the issue became serious and arrangements were being made for Manju’s engagement to another guy whom she disliked to the core.  At this point of time, Vinay and Manju hatched a plan to elope to Delhi.  Vinay’s mother was the only soul, who stood by her son’s decision, but she was not bold enough to voice her views openly. They met at the railway station, but to their dismay, Manu and his team were after them. Though they put up a stiff fight with courage, luck was not in their favour and in the melee both of them were parted and travelled to different destinations.  Fortunately, their lives were spared, to the intervention of people travelling in the same trains.

After long twenty-five years, Vinay and Manju met quite unexpectedly in a hill station and they tried to pick up the lost threads of their life. They returned to their village and saw that the people opposed to their union were old and frail and found repenting for their mistakes.  Thus, Vinay, who went to the hill station to write a story ended up inventing his own life story.

The invisible walls built by men in the name of religion, caste, creed etc, are maddening people.  The message is clear and the positive ending gives the readers a good feel.  The transformation of Vinay from a frail, shy village lad to an accomplished is told brilliantly and convincingly. The portrayal of in the story is distinctive.  The storyteller in Neelam makes the readers gripped in the amazing story line, twists and happenings with simple narratives.  Nowhere the author employs jargons just for the sake of it. In the Flickering of an Eye is a book worth your personal collection of .

©K. Pankajam

Photos sourced by the author.

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K Pankajam

K Pankajam

Retired from BHEL, a bilingual writer, poet and novelist (English and Malayalam), she has 14 published works including seven books of poems.Her poems are published in various journals and anthologies. Recipient of Oriental Poetry Award 2016, 3rd winner in Poetry contest 2017 by Viswabharathi Research Centre, Bharat Award (5th) for short story International 2017 and Rabindranath Tagore Award (9th position) for Poetry International 2017.
K Pankajam
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