06 February, 2013

A Maverick Heart : Between Love and Life

Title:         A Maverick Heart : Between Love and Life
Author:     Ravindra Shukla
Publisher: Frog Books
Price:        195/-
Pages:      383
This is the story of three friends, Richita, Rahul & Neerav. Their lives converge at IIT Mumbai where they forge a relationship of life time only to take different directions in life & eventually come together for a purpose which changes them for life.
Rahul, is a brilliant student who falls in love with Richita dreams a great life with her but when it comes to choose between love &country/ society he goes in for the latter. A little idealistic in life he sacrifices his education, money & love for the betterment of society.
Richita comes from an affluent background and supports Rahuls’ endeavours. However due to circumstances she Is forced to choose between her love & family and the decision that she takes changes her life forever.
Neerav comes from a wealthy background and knows what he wants from life. Nobody expects much from him as he his parents business to fall back upon and that is why he surprises everyone by carving an identity for himself.
The book charts the journey of these three characters, of how they discover themselves, do mistakes, learn from them and then take a path that has never been taken by anyone. They break the stereotypes, struggle with the system and come out shining. How they do it is best read.
My Verdict
I was apprehensive reading this book because I have had enough of IIT IIM books but then the author persuaded me that his book was much beyond the campus stories and I decided to give him a benefit of doubt.
True to his words the book is much more than a campus book. Covering a large span of time the book refers to many real time incidents like recession & the current anti-corruption protests and the author has cleverly woven the story around them.
What matters the most about the book is its good intention, it shows you a path that despite being educated from the best institutes you can give back to the society in more forms than one. The book is high on emotional quotient and questions our heavy appetite for materialistic things. On all these count the makes a mark.
But I had a major issue with the editing of the book. I honestly believe that 20% of it can easily be chopped off to make it a better, crisper & smarter book. The shoddy editing makes the book slow & there are quite a few incidents that are unnecessary incidents which hamper the narrative.
Do read this book if you been through recession or you feel you can do something for the society but don’t know how to do it.
My Rating 3/5
2.5 for the book 0.5 for the intention of the author.


  1. oh that editing job he coud have given me..i am a good "chopper" hehe

  2. Thank you Smita.
    Folks, Check the book for Story and exceptional dialogue - samples below

    Major quotation from the book at -

    Excerpts from the book – 1
    “Simplify? Let me try. In school days, we are taught that if there are four animals in a room and you add two more, the total will be six. That is logic. But behind this logic, there are underlying assumptions. Now, if somebody tells you, there are four rats in the room and if you add two more cats in the room, how many animals in total exist in the room now? The answer will depend upon assumption. If you just use your mathematical brain, you will say six animals. If you use your human brain, you will say two animals. Why two animals? Because the two cats will eat the four rats in no time.”

    “If you add the time element, your answer will depend upon when the calculation occurred. Just after the introduction of two cats, there will be six animals, after 5 seconds – still six, but after 10 seconds? Maybe five or four. After a minute – only 2 cats will be left in the room.”

    Excerpts from the book – 2
    “We need to promote an environment in the academic world, where we can work without thinking about awards and recognition.” Rahul looked down for a moment. “Do you know how politically motivated these awards are? There is a mad rush to submit your findings just to beat somebody else? This environment is not healthy for nurturing new talent. How do we justify working towards fulfilling a deadline and not enjoying our journey in the meantime?”

    “But then how do we promote competition?”
    “We do not get results by competing, do we? In competitions, we just draw a line and then it’s just a mad rush to beat the others. The whole philosophy and incentive for the race is to beat the others, not to achieve the goal. Defeating others becomes the goal in the end.”

    “But this model has been successful till date?”
    “How do we know what is working and what isn’t? We have just seen one side of the coin – whatever has happened in the past is the only story we have. We do not have the pictures of many other possibilities.”

    Excerpts from the book – 3
    “It is not that I am asking you to compromise, but unless we are in a stable state and better position, defending ourselves is always a challenge. I understand whatever you did…”

    “Yes, that’s enough. I know you understand and you understand very well.”

    “But I cannot make others understand your perspective, that’s why a need for practical approach.”

    “Practical? How do we define what is practical – something which gives a favorable result? You know if we had always thought from a so-called practical angle – we would’ve never had anything new in this world. We would’ve hidden under the security of practicality and taken no risks. We would have never discovered heart transplantation as a new possibility, we would’ve never thought curing cancer patients a possibility, and we would’ve never discovered a new galaxy in the universe. Taking the cover of practicality is more or less like hiding under the cover of security for fear of failure.”

    Excerpts - 4
    On March 23, 2004, along with the news of the discovery of water on Mars in the first un-manned vehicle Mars exploration rover
    mission, there was another piece of news which made headlines in The New York Times – “27 year old Indian boy snubs the academic world, rejecting award in Mathematics equivalent of the Noble prize”. A reclusive mathematician has solved the century old problem, but refused
    to accept the Field Medal, stunning the world. The reason for his decision is not known. Rahul, the 27 year old boy, lives with his mother in a city in the north of India– Lucknow and has refused to be part of the glamorous ceremony in Spain. He had completed his bachelors from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay six years ago. Any attempt to contact him has failed.”

    details at ravindrashukla.com


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