Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Book Review: 'A Maverick Heart' by Ravindra Shukla

Tagline: Between love and life

About the author:

Ravindra Shukla is an engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. He has been working in emerging technology and business analytics in IT software technology. His professional experience includes working with consulting firms – PWC and IBM in USA for 15+ years. He is a member of the Film Writers Association, Mumbai. His interest includes – writing fiction, literature and movie scripts apart from sports, movie and travelling across the globe.

Author can be contacted at ravindra.shukla@gmail.com or www.ravindrashukla.com


Resonance - We often use the term, “frequency matching” in our daily life to define compatibility. Our frequency does not match, we do not get along? We are not in sync? We are not on the same page etc? 

When people of similar frequencies (wavelengths or within the same range) come together – output is not a simple sum of individual work, but exponential. In science we term this phenomenon as resonance. Output at this stage is beyond any logical limit. 

Three young kids, with different family backgrounds and outlook meet during their graduation days at IIT-Bombay campus and become close friends. Although, individually they are in sync, but the same is not true for their interaction with the world. 

How will their relation withstand the conflict of family and society pressure? 

How do their character shape out, as they traverse from an educational environment through the corporate world to the realm of the social-political world? 

Inspired by the real events across the globe from the last decade, Ravindra Shukla brings you the characters based story – struggle and triumphs of a young generation and their relevance in the current socio-eco-political era.


A Maverick Heart is the story of three friends - Rahul, Richita and Neerav whose friendship journey starts at IIT Bombay around the year 1996. The former and the latter are best friends and sports pals too. Rahul and Richita come into interaction with each other during inter-IIT sports, and the natural frequency matching brings them closer during their exposure to certain social issues. Romance ensues between the two, while girl's parents start looking out for a suitable 'settled' boy for her. Amidst all this, Rahul starts prioritizing the social work at the expense of his project work thus having deadly repercussions.

Richita's parents, meanwhile, fix her marriage with an NRI, despite her adamant disinterest. With time, their marriage proves to be more of an arrangement, and not of compatibility. Add in the Wall Street boom of 2000s and the recession afterwords, the marriage is rocking due to pure capitalist attitude of the husband. Neerav, on the other hand, completes his MS, opens a start-up and later starts working on a prospective internet entertainment platform, while also bringing Richita on board post their chance meeting after several years.

Back in India, Rahul never enters corporate world and rather channels his whole energy into constructing a social youth platform in Delhi and Lucknow; besides taking up part-time academic research work. With RTI act coming into picture in the early 2000s, his socio-political movements result in drastic circumstances, which propels him to take the fight with the corrupt govt. head-on.

How each of the three protagonists lead and excel in their respective lives forms the main volume of the story. Is Rahul's pain of loss of love behind his aggressive attitude towards life? How can/will Richita help him despite no contact for several years between them? Does she even want to go back and face Rahul after what she did to him?! What is Neerav's role in the whole story? What happens in Rahul's life which causes the whole world to realise his potential, and Richita to come out of the hiding to help him at last?!!

Will the maverick heart survive between the throes of love and life?!!

To know how three lives get entangled together despite being so far and uninformed of each other, pick up and read the book now. :)

Review Analysis:

The story develops from college life to romance to capitalist corporate world to social issues, in the mix. The best thing about the first quarter of the story is the beautiful romance between the love-birds, the solar eclipse episode being the most enchanting. The second and third quarters slightly go overboard with corporate and capitalist philosophy discussions, which at times, seems over-stretched and boring, but succeeds in conveying its proper meaning. The last 100 pages offer some unexpected turns and the book closes on a heart-warming note.

On the other hand, the editorial aspects of the book are poor. Question marks appear frequently despite the sentences not carrying any interrogative approach. Though dialogue writing is good, but most of the times the reader doesn't even get the idea who is speaking what due to lack of brief expressive phrases acting as follow-up to the dialogues. Apart from this, frequent switching of narration between first and third person greatly hampers the smooth flow of the story.

It's not a simple breezy read, be ready for some heavy philosophy at regular intervals. Moreover, there is a glaring contradiction with the character of Yeren - at one point, she brings out Field Medal talk in her introductory discussion with Neerav, while at medal's proper time in the story, she is depicted as totally unaware about it.

Buy it from here --> 


Nice inter-weaving of romance, corporate life and social issues in the story.

Story feels realistic as the base is formed around several real life events during the timeline followed.

Creative description of respective lives of all three protagonists makes the characters more appealing and relatable.

Some beautiful quotes (there are many) intensify the reading experience -

'Beauty lies in one's heart and sex lies in one's mind. It all depends on where your belief lies'

' It is not necessary for the result to be in your favour even if you are right'


Poor editing, over-stretched discussions

Novel's length could have been reduced by 50 or so pages to make it a taut and gripping read.

My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Review Copy Source: Readers Cosmos

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