Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Basic Instinct

Updated: August 11, 2012 1:59 pm

Why disturb those lying in an eternal sleep with two dates reading their arrival and departure? It’s a human instinct, a little too basic man’s nature with saint or satan-like mental wavelength. Though the 1992 Hollywood flick made by Paul Verhoeven featuring husky and handsome Michael Douglas and horny Sharon Stone caught many in awe, this novel authored and well-essayed by Vijay Nair is in no way less than a racy thriller of that sort. The story keeps revolving around Neha and her mother’s gruesome death. Neha is enraged with her, convinced it was her mother’s own scheming ways that brought her end. But then a distress call from her childhood friend Samir brings Neha back to the hills of Coonoor, a scenic journey.

Samir is implicated in a murder case of his married lover, Sujala. A distressed Samir refused to speak to anyone except Neha, who liked to help him. She could not shut her mind to the fact that the circumstances in which the victim was found bear an uncanny resemblance to the manner in which her mother had been murdered. Nor can she deny the fact that she, too, was irresistibly drawn to the seductive charms of the luminously beautiful Sujala.

The book Let Her Rest Now is a real page-turner with lots of raunchy stuff and thrills and spills. Love and lust for any desired object walk hand in hand with man all through his life and he on a whim commits all sins and crimes to pander to his whimsical needs. It’s about a female character getting torn rather sandwiched between the need to find her mother’s murderer, and the suspicion that the best friend could probably have been responsible for this murder. This is exactly what Neha, the protagonist in the novel, grapples with.

It’s been pretty long for Neha to have spent a considerable time contemplating her mother’s brutal murder, and at the same time she finds it hard to get through with this haunting situation but at the same time Neha is still trying to come to terms with it and is miffed with her mother, convinced that she was responsible for her death, as her own ways led her to the last.

The story takes a twist in mid-air flight, as Neha is combating her suspicion and loyalty towards her friend, she comes across the mysterious Sujala, Samir’s lover, and now Neha’s object of desire. Sujala and her husband Kabir, the newest inmates of Coonoor, are not popular and are held responsible by the town for ruining the young artist Samir’s life. But to complicate matters, Neha falls for Sujala. How Neha works her way through all these twists and turns and whether she can find her mother’s killer forms the crux of the plot.

The read takes one to the prowess of myriads sexual encounters and orientations, a psychopathic step-father and nosy neighbours, Vijay Nair has the perfect knack to pen the thriller in a small hamlet. Every single page leaves one with a trace of curiosity as to what next sort of things. The yarn is woven with love, passion, suspicion, loyalty and sort of revenge. The novel races through racy stunts. Through its many bizarre and upsetting turns with the plot glaring at our disgusting life, the irony springs up to the surface when we start liking what we once terribly hated. Nair’s writing style is lucid and coherent that makes the reader feel comfortable with easy-to-understand English. However, I spotted on a number of occasions that the plot is a little loosely strung together otherwise a nice narration at a slow pace. Things were closely though a bit of Agatha Christie-type mystery juxtaposed with a couple of sizzling scenes, three murders and torrid clandestine love affairs remain afloat that really keeps one glued to the last page.

By Syed Wajid Ali

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