- Paperback: 318 pages
- Dimensions: 20.98 x 14.78 x 2.54 cm
- Publisher: Girish Dutt Shukla; 2020 edition (10 October 2020)
- Language: English
Mental Health is slowly getting traction in Indian society. More people are admitting its gravity and more people are discussing it. It is slowly breaking free from the shackles of being a taboo. And it is good to note that contemporary Indian literature is giving it its due space & importance.
Maroon in a Sky of Blue by Girish Dutt Shukla explores the intricacies of mental health and the following conflict between illusions and reality. The book appears to be a grief-stricken love story. However, by the climax, we realize that it has so much more to do with one’s mental health. It aptly covers the themes of love, heartbreak, PTSD, delusional behavior, and eventual healing.
This book is essentially about a boy, Onir, who has had a troubled childhood. He has got just one good friend, Lavin. However, his life changes for the good when he meets Palchinn and both start to date each other. But a tragic accident changes everything, so much so that Onir has a hard time coping with it. His debilitating fear of coming to terms with reality reflects in the way he creates a world of his own, to escape the real.
The author has woven a good story with an important subject peeping through its narrative. I didn’t see it coming for the most part of the book for I thought I’d only see a guy trying to move on in his life. The book surely had me with its accessible as well as engaging writing. I would find myself wondering at the poetic words inserted between the story. Some of them pulled me right inside the story, while others compelled me to stop and think.
I believe the author has done an appreciable job at exploring mental health through Onir. Moreover, he tried to let the climax build, taking its own sweet time, without rushing through the process. Having said that, I did feel that the whole content could have been squeezed into lesser pages. A few details could have been omitted because they seemed to drag me through the book. Moreover, the storyline of Onir’s struggle with his own mind seemed familiar.
Apart from those points, the book proves to be a good read coming from a debut author.
Buy your copy