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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Book Review: Operation India One by Shiv Kumar

Title: Operation India One
Author: Shiv Kumar
Publisher: Om Books International
Genre: Fiction
Date:  2015
Price: Rs. 295
Pages: 349

The story is set in the back drop of a remote village of Bihar called Bhagatpur which is infiltrated by a naxal Organisation MAF. It begins with their leader being arrested in an arms deal in Delhi. The clues attached to the case gives police too many leads to get to its still operating strong center held by second in command of MAF forces - Charulata. As the police begins investigation a lot of people get involved importantly the head of the company wanting to construct a power plant in the region, Rohit Kumar.

The rights of the people are voiced and supported by two contrasting groups, the MAF and the non-violent group lead by Nisha, via her NGO Nayi Soch Nayi Disha (NS2) who has taken upon herself to use education as a weapon and free people in the non-violent Gandhian way. While the scars of her father's death trying to do the same thing trouble her as his killer is unknown; popular assumption is it was the MAF as there ideals collided. However she still believes in education being the light in which all is clear and continues to walk on the path. 

The writer has written the story in four parts dividing the 350 page book into sections which helps the reader understand the story better. Parts 1 and 4 have the fastest pace, part 3 one cannot complain however part 2 could have been made better with the lead characters not being completely eliminated from them. However the overall pace of the story is well maintained and the authors attention to detail is amazing. The maps in the later part of the story to ensure the reader just doesn't get a cursory but a more imaginable view when needed just ices the baked cake of perfection and detailing, which tells a lot about the dedication into making nothing less than a perfect book.

The story apart from solving the mystery around the events is just not suspense but a lot of self reflection as the characters are forced by ground reality to question obvious beliefs that one has and gaining perspective by being at the ground zero. This transformation in their thoughts influencing the course of their lives and the story then becomes the center stage with the reader also beginning to decide his/ her stance on the problem and attempting to solve the same. The amalgamation of both the genre of story telling sets this book apart from any you have read.

The emergence of strong leading female characters, each with a different kind of strength is like an extra serving for its rare. The only thing missing in this otherwise great story is a hint of romance which never came and some background self correction that each of the lead female characters should have had for the others before the abrupt climax which would have made its acceptance better.

It's a perfect movie script and the writers simplistic yet detailed writing makes it come to life, producers and directors grab this one! If you liked the movie Madras Cafe this is the book you should start reading.

Rating: 3.5/5. Recommended Read.

About the author: Shiv Kumar is working as commercial tax officer in Government of Bihar(India). Previously he had worked as an engineer in BHEL(A government of India Undertaking) for nine years. He has travelled extensively throughout India during the course of his work.
He is deeply passionate about reading and writing and most prefers subjects which provide an insight into issues concerning contemporary Indian social reality. Other genres he is fond of are travel writing, thriller and crime fiction. 

He lives in Patna with his wife, Sarika, and daughter, Lavanya, and can be contacted at

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