BOOK REVIEW: A cocktail of morality and vengeance

Dr KJ Hannah Greenberg

In the pastoral highlands of northern India, in a fairly sleepy village, where a principal of principles has founded a school for students’ achievement, rather than for his or corporate gain, trickery occurs. Dastardly villain, education minister, and longtime thug, Chauhan, is enmeshed in various schemes. He culls profits from private schools, government kickbacks, and more. On top of those crimes, neither rape nor murder seems too vile for him to actualise.


Fortunately, Revenge Theory’s brave and compassionate hero, Kuldeep Sharma, is almost as concerned about propriety in his region’s educational systems as he is about the loss of his beloved wife. Besides parenting his eight-year-old son, Nikhil, and longing for his shattered union, this District Hamirpur resident strives to safeguard the ethical underpinnings of local schools.

Among the characters encouraging him to follow his heart’s wisdom is the cunning and intrepid heroine, Pratigya Puri. This single mother to daughters Upasana and Anuradha, and a resident of Chandigarh, has risen from disaster to prominence. It’s her tutoring company, whose branches flourish in many of India’s major cities, that enables relatively disadvantaged students to succeed.

The relationships among these three people, plus the goings-on of supporting characters, take readers from dhaba to university lecture hall to urban mansions to step-wells, all the while successfully conveying the world of contemporary, Northern India.

While traveling via an array of vehicles from microcars to limousines, readers experience the flora of the North. As well, they come to discover that not only Hamirpur’s back roads but also this novel’s plot, has many twists and turns.

All in all, Revenge Theory calls for a sequel. It would be wonderful to be able to listen in on the further adventures of Pratigya Puri and Kuldeep Sharma.

Book: Revenge Theory; Author: Onkar Sharma; Publisher: Hawakal; Pages: 231; Price: Rs 400

(Greenberg is an Israeli author and poet known for her unique and engaging style of writing)

Also read:

Onkar Sharma Interview

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