Thursday, February 12, 2015

#110 : Rapescars... They Never Heal by Gaurav Sharma : A Review

BOOK TITLE: Rapescars… They Never Heal
ISBN: 9788192982748
AUTHOR: Gaurav Sharma
GENRE: Fiction
FORMAT: Paperback
REVIEW BY: Dhivya Balaji
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: I thank Readers Cosmos for the review copy.
Rape Scars… They never heal
          A girl is raped! Her parents insist to report. Police tries to scuttle the case. Her fathers influence works! Doctor, the fourth man, sees her bare. The defense lawyer encounters with obnoxious questions. As if, she had inveigled the innocent boys. As if, shes the one accused and her violators are seeking justice against her. She feels & experiences being raped in public again. Her lawyer manages to seek conviction! Akriti wins the case but refuses her culprit to have imprisonment.
          Why does she do this?
          What does she decide then?
          Is this the decision of her or raped mind?
          Rape Scars is the voice of a rape survivor who thrives to stand against the violation of her persona.
          Before I start the review in detail, I would like to talk about why and how I took up this book for review! We at Readers Muse have reviewed the author Gaurav Sharma’s earlier book Love @ Airforce. (Find the review here). And we have know this book since it was in the conceptual stage. So we were glad to have had an opportunity to review this book.
What to expect when you take this book up:
o   If you have read the author’s previous book, please don’t expect this to be the same. They are radically different.
o   This is a book about a girl who is subjected to rape, and the decision she takes after she goes through the horror. As the disclaimer at the end of the book says, this book does not suggest the correct decision to be taken for every such case.
o   The book takes up a caustic approach towards the holes in the legal system of our country, and most lines are acerbic, too.
o   There are a few logic holes and eyebrow raising moments. Only the readers who could take them in flow would be able to enjoy it.
Now for the story:
          Akriti falls for a boy while studying in college. Ram Chaudry takes advantage of her and gets intimate with her. Once she is confident with him, he invites two of his friends over to the flat where he is alone with Akriti and she is raped. All this is only the first part of the story. The part where it all starts getting interesting is the part from which Akriti’s parents are supportive of her and immediately try to report the matter to the police. Naturally, the police advise against it but they firmly lodge the complaint.
          Soon the legal process starts, with Akriti bearing the humiliation from arrogant doctors to Lawyers who are intent on defaming her character. But her parents and Lawyer are standing with her through the ordeal. Finally Akriti ‘manages’ to prove that she has been raped. But Akriti refuses the conviction of the primary accused. She makes a drastic decision instead. She chooses to marry him. Her reasons are neither meek nor thoughtless.
          What is to be appreciated in the book is the description of the entire humiliation of the victim. Not only during the rape but also when having made to live the whole ordeal again and again through the court processes. The words are not exactly clearly formed but they give the illusion of having poured out of the victim in a rush. (The story is a first person narrative).
          This is just one version of the things that could have happened’. There is no point in pointing out the improbabilities. There are, however a few inconsistencies in the given storyline. Sometimes, readers wish some things had happened differently and made more sense. The book is a good attempt at trying to portray the emotions of the victim but could have had a stronger female protagonist.
          The apathy of the legal force of the country, not to mention the medical examiners and the lawyers are brought out well. It is sadly, the truth behind that portrayal is what hurts the most.
          The story falters in some places, and some tough words hamper the flow of the reader. But basically it has some powerful dialogs too. Some lines are memorable, some are cringe worthy but are needed to bring out the brutality of the incident of rape.
          The cover page looked novel and unique, but on closer look revealed that the text itself was not translated to English. Hope the future editions correct this mistake.
WHAT I LIKED: The whole attempt – that of giving voice to the woman who is raped.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: The language is inconsistent in some places. But the dialogs are powerful. It would have been even more enjoyable if the language had more structure.
VERDICT: A good attempt on a very sensitive topic that is sure to raise a few eyebrows. Kudos to the author for attempting this on such a sensitive topic.
RATING: 3.5/5
          Gaurav Sharma, a Mathematics teacher by profession and a writer by passion. His first novel is ‘LOVE @ AIR FORCE’ which is a bildungsroman literary novel, brought out by Blackbuck Publications.

          He also contributed a poem in ‘THE ESSENCE OF ETERNAL HAPPINESS’ which is a collection of poems from 29 poets from six countries.

          Lunacy for his dreams, he claims, has helped him being a published writer. As a writer, he doesn’t want to be just a storyteller but yearns to create a stir.
          He can be contacted at,
PRICE: Rs. 130 for paperback


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