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  Life   More Features  03 Oct 2017  Book Review 'Then The Door Bell Rang': A journey across borders in search of life

Book Review 'Then The Door Bell Rang': A journey across borders in search of life

THE ASIAN AGE. | SOUMYABRATA GUPTA
Published : Oct 3, 2017, 6:45 pm IST
Updated : Oct 3, 2017, 6:45 pm IST

Capri Jalota’s book is a meandering read on a woman’s journey as she strives to discover happiness.

Capri Jalota's novel, through all its upheavels shows that in the very end it is life that prevails
 Capri Jalota's novel, through all its upheavels shows that in the very end it is life that prevails

A novel about a roller-coaster journey through life, Capri Jalota’s Then The Door Bell Rang (TTDBR) starts in media res, a juncture, where our protagonist is standing upon the ledge of her 18th floor flat in Dubai, inches away from jumping down to her own untimely death.

The book then goes back a good six years as we are taken through the life of Jane, a young girl born to an Indian father and English mum, and her journey. A beautiful, rich and successful young woman, the novel meanders through as she discovers her past, roots, falls in love, loses everything only to fight back… does she win? Maybe, but that is what forms the crux of the story. All the while the novel keeps on flitting back and forth weaving in tales and incidents, which help develop the plot further.

What works for TTDBR is the way the author brings in new characters, keeping the flow of the book alive. From the deceased Uday, Jane’s husband, whose personal diary brings with it, a fair share of worms and heart aches, to his doting parents and her relationship with them which only grows after Uday’s death, to the surprising paramour Rahul, who is but a fleeting presence, a phantom whom Jane chases for the first half of the week to other characters, nurses, best friends, a supportive boss, strangers who become more than family and so on.

And yet what prevails is a sense of death throughout. It almost seems that death itself is the protagonist who is taking the plot forward. Mortality pervades through the novel, as each death takes the protagonist further in her search (for answers, truth, life?) across borders.

There are no moments, while reading TTDBR, that one might be inclined to feel that there needs to be more stringent editing, the story moves forward in its own flow. And that is perhaps where it is flawed as well. The plotline itself is a complex mishmash that might deter certain readers from wanting to reach the ultimate denouement. However, if they do, they must know in the very end, it is life that prevails.

Tags: book, review, novel, books and art, then the door bell rang