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Monday, May 7, 2018

Love Trumps All by Sudarshan Mahabal

Title: Love Trumps All
Author: Sudarshan Mahabal
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Inkstate
Price: 399/279(Kindle Edition)
Pages: 374

This is a story of lives narrated by its multiple protagonists about their life journeys around one another. It is set up from the era when "America" was "a dream" for many Indians and the Y2K boom did present a opportunity for many to make it come true, till the current times when it is no longer a fantasy and questions like values, ethics and life satisfaction have taken an equal importance.

The protagonists are Anant Joshi, the typical Indian small town guy, works hard and achieves milestones and fulfills his American dream. Madhura Sharma, a girl with great love for India and a strong urge to work in social sector and give back to the society. Chris, O 'Brian an American entrepreneur who loves nature and travel, Anants best friend too. Amy Cohen, Chris's girlfriend and very mush a free spirited American girl, training to be a doctor.  Sameera Qureshi - Amy's best friend and fellow medical student, Indian Muslim girl with a troubled past.

Anant Joshi takes the central stage mostly as it is around his life story and decisions that most other events unfold. He is an above average India student, not extremely brilliant but hard working. With a little guidance and imagination carves out himself from the cocoon of his small town Khamgoan in Maharashtra first to the city of Mumbai and then to the USA in the Y2K phase. The writer has done maximal justice in portraying his character, for if one is an Indian ambitious youth who despite coming from humble beginnings in a resource constrained, information poor zones as most of the youth today is, one can immediately relate to him. He is in love with the idealistic Madhura, who is all Indian by soul person. She feels cheated when he decides to make his future in the USA and refuses to go along. 

Life in USA changes for Anant, as he slowly adjusts to their ways while maintaining his individuality. He finds a good friend in Chris O'Brian, who is a regular, intelligent and chilled out American citizen. His girlfriend Amy is a free spirit and is a close friend of Sameera Qureshi. Anant and Sameera fall in love on a trip but the religion barrier exist. However they don't feel the full blow of it as they are in a far away alien nation. Few years down the line however things change as they decide to move back to India, to be closer to their roots and for a better work life balance. However, India has changed a lot since when Anant first moved to the states. The difference in religion would hit them harder now. Also life will come in full circle as Madhura would make a re-entry into the couples lives. To know what happens next, read the book.

The writer has done an amazing job in describing the Y2K boom period and how Indians were hired in masses, the problems they faced and the adjustments they made, to eventually make the great American dream come true. The book is more of a philosophical take on life, situations, politics religion and most of all relationships. The book alternates with the characters narrating their stories which is distracting as one has to go to and fro from a single point and it is many a times very repetitive. The author has given his reasons for choosing to do so which to the reader in me isn't very convincing. 

The book also goes in extreme details at certain points which drag the flow and gets one dis-interested. These could be easily avoided with good editing. The story also had a great potential in ending in a full circle, a beautiful metaphorical ending, but the writer chooses to drag it further. The story should have been a third person narrative which would have done a lot of justice to the plot and the essence it tries to convey in my opinion.

RC Rating: 3/5.

       About The Author:

Sudarshan is a Data Scientist in one of the large Silicon Valley companies by day, and a writer by night. He is a Production Engineer from VJTI Mumbai, MBA from California State University, Stanford Certified in Strategy and a research scholar working on his PhD in predictive analytics from SIU. He is also a visiting professor of statistics and data mining at different MBA institutions. He splits his life between Silicon Valley, USA and Pune, India with his wife, their two sons and a golden retriever dog named Steffy who is the furry love of his life. 'Love Trumps All!' is his first novel.

Grab a copy here:,204,203,200_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

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