It is rather difficult to put the book Newton’s Law Reversed by Howard Roark ( obviously a pen name inspired by the pivotal character in Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead ) in any specific genre. At one moment it seems to be a romantic tale told from a different perspective while you opine it to be a philosophical journey of a young man as he discovers life entwined with his psychological introspection at the other.
The story opens with some unusual events as we find Ganga , the female protagonist , is labouring with her journey to reach Kollidam river in order to extinguish the light of her life while a bizarre incident takes place in the temple shrine of Goddess Mahishashuramardini . From the very beginning the plot thus becomes engrossing. Then we meet Akash , a young man who apparently is a quintessential example of Gen Y , with an insouciant nature and having a penchant for drinks , girls and other luxuries. But to his deep heart’s core, Akash is something else, he loves his family. his parents ,Venkat and Parvathy , and above all he loves Ganga . However strong his endeavour is to put his heart in a state of refusal but he fails to evade his tender feelings for Ganga.
” Such a sweet bitch you are ! Never retiring before blowing my ego out. And those eyes ! Is that what they would call starry-eyed ? “
The milieu of the story, for most of the times, is a typical South- Indian village, Gangaikondacholapuram , the ancestral village of Akash. Though he has an abhorrence for rustic life , circumstances compelled him to pay a visit again at the village and it is this time that he understands his emotions. But as a series of events occur , will it be possible for Akash to sort out the problems in Ganga’s life ? Will he be able enough to embrace a commitment ?
The story also depicts an adorable father-son relationship . The relation between Akash and his father, Venkat , is like friends , who love to tease each other , argue a lot over trivial things , and yet Akash has a great reverence towards his father. He bemoans him saying ” I miss all this , Pa . You had so much to say on worldly matters and science and philosophy and so much more “.
Apart from the main characters , the delineation of not-so-conspicuous characters are also remarkable. Within a short span of 172 pages all the characters like ,Venkat , Parvathy, Chellamma , Velu, Suresh, Ganeshan and Sundaramurthy have come alive. The occasional glint of wit and humour , especially in the conversation between Venkat and Akash , as well as Akash and Ganga , has made the narration all the more enjoyable.
The narrative style is quite unique , continuously oscillating between past and present . Primarily , the reader may find it difficult to navigate but once accustomed , you are sure to enjoy the style. The language is quite a delight. Flamboyant bubbles of words rising upwards making the narration picturesque.
But one thing I must say that use of too much erudite vocabulary has somewhat constrained the lucidity and simplicity of the language making it a tad stiff and made-up. Moreover, with a regional accentuation I think it would not be easy for all type of readers to grasp the book effectively. The conversational episodes sometimes are a bit tedious and dragging in the first few chapters.
However, as a debut , the job done by the author is quite commendable and I would like to recommend this book to all who like a neat, thought-provoking yet entertaining read.
From my side it’s 3.5 / 5
About The Author
Howard Roark is a graduate engineer who started out working for a multinational as a Network Engineer, a very brief stint, after which he joined a software company to work on products in the Artificial Intelligence / Neural Networks domain and later on in the Finance domain, for about 12 years. And, since 2010, he’s been working for Cisco Systems in Chennai, for their products in the Digital Video Broadcasting domain. It’s been a career of many a learning, joyous times, moments of achievement, all combined to give him a thoroughly satisfying 15 years of experience.