About the Author: Called as the ‘Nicholas Sparks of India,’ Faraaz Kazi bagged the YCOF National Excellence award in Creative Writing. He is considered one of the top romance writers in the country. Kazi is a certified soft-skills trainer and a three-time post grad. He manages his own academy in Mumbai and is the Founder and CEO of DigiImprint Solutions. This company is India’s first exclusive promotions agency for authors, artists and corporate brands. He also runs a consultancy for public relations firms and publishing houses. He has received many awards and accolades from numerous institutes and organizations. At the same time, he is renowned in the social media and literary circles. He is known as The Young Marketer and blogs with the same name. He even writes for major media houses. Kazi is a fellow member of the ‘Film Writers Association of India.’
Truly Madly Deeply is his first romance novel in the mainstream category and the only Indian book to have made it to the nominations stage in seven categories in the Goodreads annual readers’ choice awards and is also the only Indian book to make it to the ‘Top 100 YA Global Fiction’ list. Kazi is a voracious reader and counts singing as his second love.
About the book: An all-rounder in school, Rahul is madly in love with Seema, a beautiful girl from the same school, but a year junior to him. Both are school-toppers, but Seema does not share his arrogance. After a rapid series of innocent encounters, their teenage romance flourishes, but both of them never tell each other about their love. A series of misunderstandings and ego clashes later they drift apart. Rahul goes insane and ultimately loses his love. It is too late when he realizes the enormity of his loss. Will Rahul get back his Seema? Or will Seema never realize the depth of Rahul’s feelings?
My Take: Being a journalist, I had interviewed the author for an Indian magazine in 2011, when the book was launched. I am not a romantic person. But when I saw from the book cover that the novel is set in a school, I got nostalgic.
Even before I started reading the book, my mind rushed back to my school days. Let me tell you that I have been brought up in a typical South Indian conservative educated family. So romance in school was a no-no. Education was our priority. That was the era when school children had just begun to get attracted to the opposite sex, within the class/school. I was appalled to see even the class toppers go the romantic way.
I had other interests besides studies. I began writing poems in class 7th. No, not romantic. Romance and Gayatri were poles apart! Mostly, patriotic and spiritual. I have now lost touch with my fine art pursuits due to career constraints. But I still try to write whenever I get time.
Coming back to school and studies, due to a strict father, I would never even speak to a boy in school or otherwise! Rarely did I have a friend, who was a boy but I would have met them only due to my mother! I was not sure if any other boy would be a lucky person to whom I would give my friendship. I opened up only after I completed my post-graduation and started working. So I never had anything called the first love. So may be, that is why I don’t understand it. More of my story at some other time.
Given this background I started reading this novel about teenage love. To tell you the truth, since I am more interested in thrillers and mysteries, I was not exactly curious about this novel. Besides, I did feel that for a school romance this one is too long. Too many school-events are mentioned. I also felt that at some places the author was not using original English sentences, but translating them directly from Hindi. Also, I personally feel that the cover design is a direct give-away about the end, which is a small disappointment. I don’t know, but even in a romance, I would like a certain amount of mystery or you could call it suspense. Only that will compel me not to put the book down before the end. That said I would also like to add that life goes on. Without dwelling too much on the story now, it is over to you, readers.
Book Title: Truly, Madly, Deeply.
Author: Faraaz Kazi.
Publisher (Year): Cedar Books, an imprint of Pustak Mahal. (December 2010)
Number of Pages: 304
Price: Rs. 175/-