The Guardian Angels is the epic and tumultuous story of two star-crossed lovers who weren’t just soul-mates but were also each other’s protectors.
The fates of Adi Mehta and Radha Deodhar are deeply entwined when within days of their first rendezvous they save each other’s lives.
Despite their vast sociopolitical differences, they are drawn to an uncertain future fraught with contrasting ambitions, personas and ideologies.
. . . he is the son of a billionaire, she is the daughter of a socialist.
. . . he is quiet and unassuming, she is a firebrand and spirited.
However, the unexplained phenomena ties them forever – whenever they are in peril, they are each other’s only saviors.
Over the following two decades Adi and Radha live through hope and despair, joy and sadness, and try to decipher their relationship. As the truth of their bond is revealed, they must confront the true nature of love, and ultimately, their destinies.
Just when I had planned to take a break from reading books brimming with human emotions and conflicting thoughts, I chanced upon the “The Guardian Angels”. When I read the blurb, I imagined that the book dealt with politics and those involved. [Now, that I have read it again I have no idea why I thought this and believe that is the perfect blurb for this book!] So I looked at the cover which had the profiles of a man and woman intertwined beautifully to the extent that one cannot say which profile begins where, appealed to the senses of the closeted artist within me; it was as if both the protagonists were the two sides of the same coin. I knew I had to read this book and that is how I gave into the temptation of reading this great book. This is not your typical love story where two people meet and fall in love and live happily ever after after battling a few odds – but it is the story of two soul mates joined together by a tie so strong that it cannot be altered even when faced with the prospect of death – I’d like to say its a love a story with a difference!
I dived into the book not knowing what to expect and swam out of a melange of unfulfilled dreams, true love, ruthless ambitions, human emotions and thought processes bordering on masochistic tendencies, dirty Indian politics, mafia, Huntington disease, lessons on socialism / activism and more. I have to point out that each one of the features that I have mentioned give the book its character and a strong reason for the reader to keep turning its pages.The language was simple and lucid. At the risk of sounding too clichéd I am going to say that the author has a way with words….I was impressed with his ability to interpret the most simplest of gestures and translate them into a string of words that make the most sentences for the situation…Sample this:
“He sipped his coffee in silence for a few moments without breaking his gaze as though weighing my response on a scale inside his head, splitting the words I had spoken, putting them in weighing pans and judging if they tilted one way or the other“
The continuity of the plot and the story was maintained beautifully in spite of the fact that the story has been split into 3 parts each one akin to a phases of the lives of the protagonist – the teenage years, the 20’s, late 20’s and present day. The plot constantly shuffles between the past and the present. Having read many books that shuffle between different timelines, I have noticed that at times a reader is lost and looses track of where he/she was before they reached a particular point in the story. In case of the “The Guardian Angels”, this never happens and that is a huge plus 🙂
The idea of star-crossed lovers has been a favorite subject for many writers in history and Rohit Gore is no exception. However I loved the way his two soul mates Radha and Adi keep getting together and drifting apart due to the choices that they make, only to get back together! What is even more impressive is that they share a bond that cannot be described in words – they understand each others thoughts, can finish each others sentences and even sense when the other one is in mortal danger and this one characteristic is what makes their relationship stronger each time and makes them even closer than before! They pull each other out from the deepest of despairs of life and always seem to be there for each other even while separated by the 7 seas and different timelines!
On a parallel track Adi shares the same bond with his sister Heena too, just the equations change a little more with Radha. Heena’s character seems to be the most important character right after Adi and Radha as it is Heena’s who drives the entire plot with her characters and actions. Sorry, can’t say more without giving away the plot 🙂 The rocky nature of the relationship that Radha shares with Heena and Heena’s acceptance of the same has also been highlighted with sensitivity.
The author seems to have stepped into new waters of contemporary Indian fiction by creating a good chunk of the plot around Huntington disease which is not an oft repeated term out here. The genesis of the disease, the signs and the impacts of the same have been cleverly woven into the story. The fact that the disease and it’s history in her family is a major factor in motivating Radha to do what she does – fearlessly strive for a better India [thereby bringing in the socialist / activist angles of the book] left me with a lump in my throat.
Radha and Adi have been etched out and contrasted wonderfully and there is not a page where the reader does not realize how 2 people (“The rich lot” vis a vis the blue collars) as different as chalk and cheese are joined by something more divine. I could go on and on…. 🙂 A pretty huge read (328 pages) but once you start reading, you cannot put the book down. It is definitely “Brilliant and Addictive” as stated by Durjoy Datta. I would highly recommend this book for all the book clubs out there – this book will guarantee loads of interesting discussions and debates!
On another note, I kind of remembered the novel “The Notebook” by Nicholas Spark after I had completed the book. There are some similarities to both the plots in terms of narration but then “The Guardian Angels” is definitely one of a kind and will leave you with a hangover of completing a book. It did for me 🙂
About the author:
Rohit Gore grew up in a number of towns in India. At various times in his childhood, he wanted to be a theatre actor, an architect and a bookshop owner.
After his engineering degree, he was based in Mumbai. An MBA from S P Jain Institute followed and since then he is in the IT industry for more than a decade.
He loves sports, specifically the discussing and watching part of it, since the playing days are long gone. He has traveled a lot – a consequence of living in Mumbai and London. His greatest passion is reading and it inspired him to write. He is a frequent contributor to many online writing forums and wishes there were more writing groups.
He currently lives in Pune, a wonderfully vibrant city with his wife. He has a keen interest in history, especially the history of music and arts. One of the things he would like to get better at is photography
Other books by Rohit Gore:
- Circle of Three
- Focus sam
- A Darker Dawn
Needless to say I want to read all of them!! Moving them to my wish list right away 🙂
The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve