Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024 | Last Update : 08:07 PM IST

  Books   15 Nov 2017  Fatal attraction

Fatal attraction

THE ASIAN AGE. | ANJANA BASU
Published : Nov 15, 2017, 12:10 am IST
Updated : Nov 15, 2017, 12:10 am IST

Tangled tales of young love, heartbreak, perversion, bitterness, sexual predators and a serial killer on the hunt.

A still from Final Girl.
 A still from Final Girl.

Ever since Fifty Shades of Grey entered the reading public’s consciousness with its soft porn and trilogy format, other writers hopped on the bandwagon while critics groaned and writers of literary fiction turned green with envy. Novoneel Chakraborty is the Indian entrant to this genre and he has the multiple format mastered. His Forever Is series combines young love, heartbreak, bitterness and serial killing with adroitness. The openings are deadly and they lead to stories packed with sex, love and perversion set against the backdrop of Bengaluru and the lives of young college students recovering from bad relationships or experimenting with sexual encounters in the absence of their parents.

We know that there is a man who lost his love in a car crash and an 18-year-old called Prisha who is escaping memories of a failed love affair. Inevitably the two meet in an environment filled with the moans of orgasm. She does not know his name but knows that he is fucking her local guardian. The two meet and inevitably connect. From this connection between an older man and a young girl barely out of minorhood evolves a tangled tale.

Forever is True Rs 150, pp. 288 By Novoneel Chakraborty Penguin Random House India.Forever is True Rs 150, pp. 288 By Novoneel Chakraborty Penguin Random House India.

Chakraborty presses all the right buttons — scenes of steamy sex, empowered girls who use the Tinder app to tie up with young men and the language that is the entire college groove. His use of pace is as precise as a soap director’s giving away a little step by step. Bondage and blindfold comes in as well which it would after the Fifty Shades experience. In Forever is a Lie, the first part reveals enough to keep readers on the edge and the story complete — though it does end in magazine style with a to be continued. The fact that the sexual predator hero is playing the role of the Mean Monster because he lost his true love and is looking for another would be enough to keep female readers gooey-eyed and the fact that he is matched with a vulnerable young heroine 15 years older than himself balances the loyalty scales.

Saveer runs an NGO to protect girls from molestation and he is trying to live down his sexual predator identity. However, it is quite obvious that he is being stalked and what makes it stranger is the fact that he seems to be stalked by a woman — initially think Glen Close in Fatal Attraction or Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. However, what is even odder is the fact that Saveer has been losing those he loves on his birthday and someone has managed to ink the words ‘I will fuck your happiness’ on his back presumably through the use of veggies packed with narcotics — there are lots of those floating around.

Forever Is a Lie  Rs 199, pp. 288 By Novoneel Chakraborty Penguin Random House India.Forever Is a Lie Rs 199, pp. 288 By Novoneel Chakraborty Penguin Random House India.

Forever is True raises the tension because Prisha has been attacked and pushed over the edge of a cliff and everyone suspects that it is Saveer. However, because the attraction between them is so strong, she refuses to believe that he tried to kill her. Together they try to unravel the mystery of the stalker who may or may not be a woman.

Chakraborty is spare with his characters, Prisha’s friends Zinna, Gauri and Diggy, some police officials, Kaushik in Saveer’s office and the person in the shadows who is haunting Saveer. Diggy becomes a victim and proves that even men can be raped. Chakraborty, knowing he is reaching the end, can reveal more of his plot so the crafting in this part is precise.

Novoneel ChakrabortyNovoneel Chakraborty

Ultimately it comes down to those words we are so familiar with in modern India — sexual abuse leading to the destruction of a person’s childhood at the hands of a relative who is also the resident guru.

Whether readers will agree with the ending or not, the books are pageturners, a must for those who love being teary-eyed.

Anjana Basu is the author of Rhythms of Darkness

Tags: fifty shades of grey, novoneel chakraborty